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— the first —

y e a r s


author:

Barbara Shepard published by:

Longwood University Foundation, Inc. photo and layout editor:

Stephen Hudson graphic design:

copy editor:

Rachael Davis

Benita Whitehorn advisory committee:

Deborah Welch Carolyn Wells Suzy Palmer Lydia Williams Jim Jordan Nancy Shelton Sabrina Brown Bryan Rowland


t a b l e

o f

c o n t e n t s

I

II

III

Welcome

Foreword

Introduction

Pa r t I

P a r t II

Nuts and Bolts

Heart and Soul

chapter 1 •

1

chapter 5 •

the

student Life

Early Years chapter 2 •

Jarman Era chapter 3 •

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lancaster, lankford a n d newman chapter 4 •

chapter 6 •

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the

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The Roaring Twenties, the turbulent thirties, a n d fabulous forties chapter 7 •

63

from the days of

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more growth a n d progress

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to

Rock ‘n’ Roll t h e Twenty-First Century chapter 8 •

71

Traditions chapter 9 •

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Athletics chapter 10 •

92

Scattered Memories


— the first —

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W e l c o m e

I

n my first months as Longwood’s president, I’m discovering something I suspect many reading this already know: the crackling energy around this beautiful campus. To watch a new generation of students arrive and begin to discover what makes this place special is to feel young and excited on their behalf. It is a feeling, I suspect, that never gets old, which explains why so many Longwood faculty and staff have made their lives and careers here. Yet much of the energy you feel on the Longwood campus also springs from the past, from 175 years of history that have blessed us with an enviable and not easily copied legacy: a magnificent campus, strong traditions, and a sense of mission to leave this place even better than we found it. It’s a history I feel on a deeply personal level. A portrait of my greatgrandfather, who taught biology here, hangs in my office. My grandmother, her sisters, and my great-grandmother are all Longwood graduates. In ”Longwood University: The First 175 Years,” Barbara Shepard has given us a labor of love that chronicles Longwood’s unusual – indeed unique -- journey from seminary and private women’s college to the thriving co-educational public university it is today. Yet I am struck that each stage of that history has inserted something essential into the lifeblood of what Longwood is today. And it is remarkable that, for all that has happened here, a common identity and purpose have been forged around shared ideals – a commitment to deeply personalized teaching and learning with a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, and to developing citizen leaders.  For those who love Longwood, this book will help us understand and appreciate those who built and generously nurtured it, and inspire us to build upon that legacy in our next 175 years.

-W. Taylor Reveley IV, Longwood’s 26th president

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I

the first 175 years


F o r e w o r d

O

nce upon a time, a long, long time ago – March 5, 1839, to be exact – Longwood University was born. Sometimes I feel as though I had been there that day for the first class. I really wasn’t – I guess I’ve just read so much about it and thought so often about it that I only imagine I was there. In the beginning the Virginia State Legislature created “The Farmville Female Seminary” and it has flourished through the past 175 years into Longwood University. But one day in 1993, and I am certain I was there that day, I met a new undergraduate student named Barbara who was very interested in history. That undergraduate has matured over the years, received her Ph.D. degree, and has become Dr. Barbara Hensley Shepard, Lecturer in History, my colleague on the Longwood faculty and the author of this book. I now understand the truth of the observation “teachers can never know where their influence will reach”. Dr. Shepard and I share a terrible fear, I know. That fear is – in the moving words of The Wisdom of Solomon – “And we shall be forgotten in time, and no one shall remember our name or our works; and our life shall pass away as the traces of a cloud, and shall be scattered as is a mist, when it is chased by the beams of the sun, and overcome by the heat thereof.” Perhaps you also, gentle reader, sometimes have this, oh so personal, distressing feeling. I am an archaeologist and have spent my life, for the last 36 years here at Longwood, digging into the past. When I sit in my study and examine an artifact or read a word form the past, I am keenly aware that our past is such a small sound and so very far away. In 1628 a New England parish clerk, listing in a Colonial will the few possessions to be inherited from a deceased farmer, stated “there be so many more to be passed on but these be in small things and are forgotten”. Dr. Shepard’s book, now in your hands, promises to help us remember and to keep these “small things” from being forgotten. In her book we are made to recall touching scenes from the early days of our alma mater. In the 1850’s a student’s day began with morning prayers, followed by breakfast, a mandatory chapel service, and six hours of classes. There is no mention of a lunch break during those six hours! After class students were free to “stroll about the grounds with a chaperone” or to study until tea time. Then a required study hall supervised by a professor, followed by “family prayers and a free 30 minutes until the silence bell rang at 9:00 p.m.” Parents were requested to provide their daughters “with a very simple state of dress and not to give them any considerable amount of pocket money”. Out of this grim past have come the more than 40,000 graduates of our alma mater, and you, quite possibly, are one of them. Winston Churchill once said “the future is unknowable, but the past can give us hope”. Longwood’s past gives us much hope. In my field, archaeology, there is a tale told of a great and wise village elder of long ago. When she had a problem, it was her custom to go to a certain part of the forest, and light a fire, and say a special prayer, and find wisdom and comfort. Many years later her descendents had problems also, but the forest had been forgotten, no one could light a fire, and the words of the special prayer were now unknown. But simply knowing that the forest, and the fire, and the prayer had once existed was a comfort in their present distress. This book you will now read shall comfort you. It is a vision of your past, of my past. It is a gathering together of all the students, and all the teachers, and all the staff who have ever, since 1839, been a part of this place we all call home. And remember, Longwood goes on into the future, and into the world, in ways we cannot now imagine. You and I have become a part of a community of scholars resident at this place for 175 years, and who, down the long trail of the ages, will echo Longwood’s name. -Dr. James William Jordan Professor of Anthropology Chief Faculty Marshal Farmville Female Seminary & Longwood University longwood university

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the first 175 years


I n t r o d u c t i o n

T

he summer of 2013 will always be one I remember as passing with lightning speed and being unbelievably busy. When I agreed to write an account of Longwood University’s 175 years as an institution of higher education, it was evident to me that a lot of important material needed to be included. The project proved to be quite timeconsuming and even seemed impossible at times, but, eventually with the help of my research assistant, Tyler Hamlett, and the aid and encouragement of countless others it all came together. Writing this history has in many ways been a labor of love and brought me great joy as numerous people generously shared their special memories about State Teachers College, Longwood College and Longwood University. The book is divided into two parts. Part I, titled “Nuts and Bolts,” is just that; it traces the history of Longwood University from its earliest roots to 2013. The chapters within Part I include facts, dates, administrative changes and expansion of the campus. Part II, called “Heart and Soul,” is more about the students who attended Longwood, by whatever name it was called. The chapters in this section highlight students’ impressions and memories of the school, which remind us that students are and always will be the “heart and soul” of Longwood. The chronological numbering of the presidents warrants an explanation. In the first draft, when accounting for the college’s leadership, those who served as head of the institution prior to 1884 were not counted as presidents. William Henry Ruffner was given the distinction of being the first president. To avoid confusion and be in agreement with the university’s Web page listing of past presidents, the method of numbering was altered to include the twelve individuals who led the institution in the years leading up to 1884. After reading through ninety years’ worth of Rotundas, searching through about onehundred yearbooks, college catalogs, student handbooks, alumni magazines and other sources, I am painfully aware of the omission of material that will undoubtedly disappoint some readers. For this, I sincerely apologize. Time and space constraints prevented the inclusion of much worthwhile information. I hope this history serves as a “trip down memory lane” to those who read it. Researching various aspects of student life and reading the stories of others often proved heartwarming and amusing and caused me to pause and think of my own memories as a Longwood College student. My greatest wish is that those who read this short history will derive at least a small portion of the pleasure that I derived from writing it.

-Barbara Shepard, author longwood university

III

the first 175 years


1

chapter

the

Early Years

Sketch of original plaque

L

ongwood University holds a prestigious place in the history of higher education in Virginia. It is not only the state’s third oldest public education institution, but it also holds the distinction of being the first institution of higher education for women in the Commonwealth. In fact, Longwood University’s roots reach all the way back to March 5, 1839, when the Virginia State Legislature voted to incorporate the Farmville Female Seminary Association. The newly formed corporation consisted of Willis Blanton, W.C. Flournoy, Thomas Flournoy, James E. Venable, William Wilson, James B. Ely and George Daniel. To finance the new school for young ladies, the corporation issued 300 shares of stock at $100 apiece. According to a plaque set into the cornerstone, construction began on the original building in 1839. Records indicate that it was completed on May 26, 1842, at which time a deed for the property was conveyed to the Farmville Female Seminary Association. When the plaque was placed at the foundation of that first building, it covered a small hole containing several items

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pertinent to the date, which may be viewed as an attempt to preserve the history of the moment by creating an early version of a time capsule. The articles recovered from the cavity include a newspaper, the back of a New Testament, three coins – a five, ten and twenty-five cent piece – and a Masonic emblem. Unfortunately, fifty-eight years later, when the plaque and stash of memorabilia were discovered, the newspaper and the writing on the back of the New Testament had deteriorated and were no longer legible. Although the original structure eventually became part of the first Ruffner Hall and remained in use until destroyed by fire in 2001, it initially provided a homelike atmosphere for the students. Little is known of the principals of Farmville Female Seminary. Solomon Lea was the first to hold the position, and he was followed by his brother, the Rev. Lorenzo Lea, and then by Lorenzo Coburn. In 1850, John B. Tinsley was named principal, and, after five years, Benjamin Gould replaced him. The curriculum for the Farmville Female Seminary students reveals the era’s concept of a well-educated Southern

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the first 175 years


Sketch of Farmville Female Seminary, 1859


chapter 1:

The Early Years

lady. English, Greek, Latin, French and piano lessons were offered, and students had the option to board at the school for an additional fee. The scope of available subjects expanded quite a bit in the intervening years as an 1856 account of the public examinations held on June 24, 1856 revealed. Various students were questioned on a wide range of subjects, which included arithmetic, botany, chemistry, astronomy, philosophy, rhetoric, grammar, geography, Latin and French. Within the next few years, the founders of Farmville Female Seminary decided to convert the school into a college. To that end, they hired George LaMonte as principal of the seminary. When he arrived, the institution had ninetyfour students enrolled of which forty-three lived in the town of Farmville. The student body included two young ladies from as far away as Galveston, Texas, and Pensacola, Florida. After arriving in Farmville in the summer of 1859 and assuming his responsibilities as principal, LaMonte made some changes to upgrade the curriculum to the college level. In response to the request of stockholders, the Virginia State Legislature amended the original charter and created the Farmville Female College, which would remain the institute’s name for 24 years. In 1860, the new college had a faculty of five with LaMonte, whose title had changed from principal to president, also teaching classes. Four of the faculty had been retained from the Farmville Female Seminary, and the fifth was a Frenchman, Arnaud Preot, who had previously taught at the Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute. Preot continued on the faculty as a linguist and pianist until becoming president of the college in 1863 to fill the vacancy created when LaMonte moved to Danville, Va. Apparently, during the Civil War, LaMonte’s Northern background began to cause some problems, and he left Farmville in March 1863. The school’s trustees publicly announced the change in leadership on February 19, 1863 in the Christian Advocate. Listed as President was A. Preot, with four additional faculty members. The management of the college remained much the same. The president and his family still maintained strict control over the boarding pupils and continued to provide the “home atmosphere” that LaMonte had stressed. Even as the Civil War progressed and involved other parts of Virginia, Farmville Female College did not seem to suffer greatly; however, by fall 1863, rising food prices due to short supply began to have an impact. Then in 1865, the war arrived in Farmville. As Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee made his retreat through the town, shots were initially heard from the High Bridge area. The institute ceased operations on April 6, 1865, and the approximately eighty girls at the school watched throughout the day and evening hours as the bedraggled Confederate troops passed. The fighting was close enough that Minie balls fell around the building, and at least one broke a window, frightening the young ladies longwood university

Arnaud Preot, President 1863-1869

inside. Following Lee’s surrender, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant returned to Farmville and established martial law. The college remained open, but the dwindling food supply was cause for great concern. Grant offered safe conduct to students wishing to leave, so Preot released twenty-six of the young ladies enrolled at the institute, and they traveled to their respective homes or other safer destinations. Still, some students remained at the college, which evidently continued in session. President Preot managed to hold on until 1869, when he resigned. From the scant records of the period, it is clear that the Farmville Female College faced a truly dark period following the end of the Civil War through the mid-1870s. Little evidence of the continued operation of the school exists; however, the names of individuals who led the institution for brief periods are available. In 1870, S.F. Nottingham was named president. Then in 1871, an advertisement stated that the Farmville Female College had been sold and announced the appointment of the Rev. Francis Marion Edwards as president. The next year, James D. Crawley, also a trustee of the school and a lay Methodist minister, was listed as president. Virginia’s economy was floundering, and female education was not considered a high priority. People simply did not have enough funds to send their daughters to the Farmville school. The arrangement with Crawley as

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president lasted only until 1873, when the institution once again changed hands. The buyers, Garnett and Martha Bickers, did not attempt to run the school and apparently closed it for a period. The closure could not have been long because, by 1874, the Methodist Conference sponsored the college, and its new president was a Methodist minister, the Rev. Paul Whitehead. The school had an enrollment of seventy, and in the following year, the student body increased to one hundred three, which necessitated the addition of a three-story brick building to house the growing number of boarding students. In 1875, the Prince Edward County Circuit Court incorporated the Farmville Female College as simply Farmville College. President Whitehead continued to guide the school throughout the remainder of the 1870s. Student enrollment fluctuated between seventy and one hundred three. Evidently, Whitehead had been furthering his education as well; the 1882 Methodist Education Report addressed him as Doctor of Divinity. With his change in status, Whitehead resigned as president and returned to the ministry. His resignation brought a woman into the leadership of the college. Miss Mary Elizabeth Carter, daughter of a Methodist minister and member of the James River Carter family of Shirley Plantation, took over the reins of Farmville College. She was called President; instead, references to her used the title principal. Although Carter had a difficult task in trying to keep the floundering institution open, she maintained its longwood university

Above

Farmville Female Normal School, 1884

Below

Diploma awarded June 2, 1880 from Farmville College

operation as a girls school despite the financial woes caused by the state of the area’s economy.1 In 1884, prominent area businessmen pulled together in an attempt to convince the Virginia State Legislature to locate the proposed normal school in Farmville. The purpose of the institute would be to prepare public schoolteachers, for which a great need existed. William Henry Ruffner drew up the plans for establishing and operating public schools in

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the state and attempted on various occasions to convince the Legislature to appropriate adequate funds to open a normal school. In spite of all his efforts, Ruffner was not the man responsible for the establishment of the school to train teachers in Farmville. Credit for that belongs to Jabez L. Monroe Curry, who wrote the bill, passed by the state Legislature in March 1884, calling for the creation of Virginia’s first teacher training school for white women. That legislative act also provided that the State Female Normal School be established in Farmville if the property of the Farmville College were deeded to the state. To simplify legal issues, Rev. Whitehead signed over ownership of the college to the Town of Farmville on April 7, 1884, and on that same date, the town transferred the deed to the State of Virginia.

Following a slight delay in receiving the $15,000 allocated by the state ($5,000 for establishment and $10,000 annual operating funds), the Farmville State Normal School opened on October 30, 1884 with Ruffner named president and Curry named president of the Board of Trustees. (Ruffner’s official title was principal, although he performed the duties of president and is referred to as the first president of the State Normal School and the thirteenth president since the establishment of the institution.) According to Ruffner’s reports, the state of the school and buildings was inadequate with “not a teacher, nor a book, nor a piece of furniture or apparatus, and more things to be done than any mind could foresee.”2 Even with the problems he pointed out, the school did indeed open on October 30. Ruffner assembled a faculty to instruct the 111 students who had enrolled. For three years, he remained at the helm of and guided the normal school before resigning in 1887. He left behind a smooth-running institution, much different from the situation he had faced upon his arrival. John Atkinson Cunningham assumed the position of president and led the school through its next ten years. He brought with him some new ideas about the education of women. Within a short time of his appointment, he asked for a third year to be added to the school with the first two years being dedicated to the teaching of subjects and the last year being set aside for teaching methods and the art of teaching. Cunningham expanded the course offerings and added new classes such as Pure Mathematics and Astronomy by 1893.3 Enrollment grew to an impressive 250 students during his tenure, and he encouraged students to start a school newspaper, written by students and edited by faculty.4 Cunningham also managed to make a change in the type of diploma issued by the college. Previously, it simply said Licentiate of Teaching. With the revision, diplomas would include a description of the courses taken: English, Scientific or Professional. Other upgrades were made to the school’s structures. Farmville Electric Heat and Power Co. wired the school to provide electric lighting and charged $.50 per month for each light. The campus was growing, and the construction of the West Wing gave Cunningham more office space and included a library.5 In 1894, the trustees gave the college permission to buy the Fleming House. This was a milestone because the school had grown to the point that it occupied an entire block.6 Top

Dr. J. L. M. Curry

Bottom

Dr. William Henry Ruffner, President 1884-1887

Right

Dr. John A. Cunningham, President 1887-1897

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The first faculty of the State Normal School, 1884


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The Early Years

Then in 1897, while still in office, Cunningham died. His sudden death shocked everyone: faculty, staff, students and townspeople. Eulogies, public statements and college publications recalled memories of the man. His successes and achievements were publicly noted. The faculty had increased from nine at the beginning of Cunningham’s administration to fourteen. The Home Department, which shouldered the responsibility of looking after the care of the students on campus, grew from two to three. The size of the student body rose from 93 to 250. The task of finding Cunningham’s replacement soon began. Meanwhile, Virginia Reynolds, the senior member of the faculty, was given the authority to conduct the Academic Department of the school until a new president could be found.7 The Board of Trustees had received thirty-five applications for the president’s position by its December meeting. Submissions came from all over the country; however, it took the board members only one ballot to make their selection. They hired Robert Frazer as Farmville Normal School’s president. His years at the school were not without problems. His relationship with the students, faculty and trustees was often less than cordial, but he followed his conscience during his administration and made some positive changes. Under Frazer’s guiding hand, enrollment increased, more faculty was hired, and the departments of Education and Physical Culture were added. The school’s building budget provided upgrades for existing structures and the construction of mainly service buildings. Hot water was added to existing college buildings, along with a windmill, wood house, coal house and icehouse. These

changes were not very noticeable, and State Normal School, in appearance, had remained much the same for two decades; however, building did not completely stop under Frazer. A a new steam plant and a gymnasium were added during his brief administration. Frazer’s years as president ushered the Normal School into the twentieth century. Amid some controversy, he resigned in 1902 and accepted a position with the state’s General Education Board.

Dr. Robert Frazer, President 1898-1902

E n d n o t e s 1 - Mrs. J.W. Pulley to Marvin W. Schegel, letter in Longwood University Archives, January 19, 1954. 2 - State Normal School, Catalogue and Circular, First Session, Richmond:1885, 12. 3 - Trustees Book, no. 2, 160. 4 - Faculty Minutes,Book 1, 148. 5 - Trustees Book, 164. 6 - Farmville Herald, October 15, 1897. 7 - Trustees Minutes, October 21, 1897.

Virginia Reynolds, 1899

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chapter

the

Jarman Era

Joseph L. Jarman, 1902

W

ith the departure of Frazer, the trustees of Farmville State Normal School were once again in search of a leader for the college. Their choice was Joseph Leonard Jarman, who came to Farmville from Emory and Henry College. He arrived on the school’s campus filled with energy and plans to change and improve it. He did not hesitate to implement his strategy to completely alter the appearance of the campus. The

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Fleming House was the first casualty of Jarman’s building program. By 1903, it had been razed, and the new West Wing was in use. His vision for the campus was a blend of Jeffersonian and Georgian architecture, and the appearance of the campus when he arrived did not coincide with these concepts. The Victorian style of the old Reception Hall, for example, conflicted with his plan, so the hall was redesigned to include a rotunda in the center of the building.

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the first 175 years


The White House - built in 1905 under the leadership of Dr. Jarman.


chapter 2:

The J arman Era

State Female Normal School, 1909

After construction of the Rotunda, the college hired an artist, Eugene B. Monfalconi from Richmond, Va., to paint the panels in the dome. Subjects for the panels were selected to represent the people who had influenced the institution, either in actuality or philosophically. U.S. founding father Thomas Jefferson and American education reformist Horace Mann were chosen as the philosophical inspiration while Curry and Ruffner symbolized the tangible elements connected to the college’s establishment. Portraits of four ladies were included to represent the purpose of the college: Study, Meditation, Recreation and Rest. Monfalconi painted cameos of the influential men and alternated them with the idealized portraits of the ladies.

The campus must have been bustling with activity in 1905 because the school’s East Wing and White House were also constructed that year. The White House housed an auditorium, which had a seating capacity of 730. These additions gave the campus a sense of balance and beauty that it had previously lacked. The school’s growth extended beyond the student buildings.

Above

The White House, 1943

Below

The White House auditrorium, 1909

Above

Monfalconi paintings on interior Rotunda panels

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The J arman Era

Left

President’s house, 1917

Below

The Nelson Club, 1922, with an early Longwood automobile

In the early years of the school, President Whitehead had lived behind the school, and this remained the norm until the Cunningham presidency. Information is unavailable concerning the location of the president’s residence in the early years of the Jarman era; however, in 1908, the college purchased the old Cunningham house on High Street. The president and his family moved in, and it remained the official abode of the president for the rest of the Jarman years and beyond. The school continued to gobble up land around the existing campus. After acquiring additional plots in the first decade of the twentieth century, more construction commenced. The Elementary School, or as it was often called, the Training School, was completed and operational in April 1913. It was a truly modern school for the era and even included its own juvenile library and a museum to display student’s work. The Training School, which was located in present-day Hiner, served Farmville elementary-aged students for many years. Teacher training expanded beyond the campus-based school, and in 1917, Florence Stubbs was named as head of the Rural Education Department, which resulted in the Normal School students teaching in various county schools. The travel required for faculty to train and observe these student teachers led Jarman in his July 13, 1917 report to the board to request funds to purchase “two Ford machines at $375 each.” Jarman was not content with the growing number of academic buildings. He had plans to add another grand edifice to the campus; however, this request for state funds longwood university

The Training School, 1924

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would not meet with immediate approval. Jarman wanted a separate building dedicated to student recreation. It was an idea well ahead of its time, which seemed frivolous to state legislators and many Farmville residents. This project proved Jarman’s value as a visionary and a good salesman. Although the state was not greatly enamored with his plan, others were. When he first “pitched” his proposal for a student building to members of the Class of 1911, they immediately donated the grand sum of $964.50 to the project. Probably because of Jarman’s charm and enthusiasm, the student building became a very popular venture, and students as well as townspeople eventually jumped on the bandwagon. Individuals gave monetary gifts, fundraisers were held, and graduating classes contributed. For more than two years, every issue of The Rotunda included a list of donors and the amount of their gifts. As news spread about it, the project continued to charge the imagination of students, faculty and the public. Jarman encouraged and inspired “his girls” and many others to support his project, and they responded with great intensity. Teas, masquerade balls, dances and other fundraising activities sponsored by various student organizations added to the growing amount of funds. After its founding, the Alumni Association gave a whopping $40,000 to the student building fund. In the end, the Virginia General Assembly allocated $50,000 toward the construction costs.

Jarman encouraged and inspired “his girls” and many others to support his project, and they responded with great intensity. When ground was finally broken for the Student Building, Jarman posed for a picture holding a shovel. He wore a crumpled suit and straw hat and had a cigar in his mouth. On that occasion, he was a happy and proud man. While Jarman and all those involved were making the dream of a Student Building a reality, disaster struck. Accounts of Jarman’s early years in Farmville demonstrated that he was undeniably a builder; however, it was on his watch, in 1923, that one of the school’s three major fires occurred. The new Student Building was not yet completed, when a fire destroyed several structures that were vital to the school’s operation. Fortunately, the new construction, despite lacking its finishing touches, provided housing for displaced students and facilitated other necessary activities until the rebuilding process could be accomplished.

Above

Jarman at new Student Building ground breaking, photo from The Rotunda - Dec. 8, 1925

Right

Newly Completed Student Building, 1924

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Although the completion of the Student Building in 1924 marked the end of the early building phase under Jarman’s presidency, other changes continued to take place. From 1914 through 1924, the college had been called State Female Normal School; however, beginning in 1924, the name of the school was changed to State Teachers College, often referred to simply as STC. In 1926, the Annex was built to provide rooms for sophomores. It ran from the new building to the White House and in 1934 would be renamed Tabb in honor of Jennie Tabb, who had been employed by the college for three decades. In addition, the Annex provided lockers and showers for the gymnasium.1 A new dining hall replaced the one destroyed by the 1923 fire, and it had a seating capacity of one thousand. The lovely Colonnade was added at the same time to connect the East Wing and the Student Building.2 Within four years of the renaming of the institution, North Cunningham was built and provided housing for approximately 136 students. The trustees also bought Longwood House and six private homes near the campus. These cottages were refurbished and used as additional student residences. Then, construction slowed drastically when the entire nation was in the grip of the Great Depression. The state did not have the tax revenue to allow the state-supported school to continue its building program at the previous rate, and many parents did not have the funds to finance a college education for their daughters. Above

The Colonnade, 1928

Left

The new Dining Hall, 1925

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Jarman was quick to grasp the benefits to be gained by taking full advantage of the public work projects, which came about due to the Great Depression. He applied to the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works and received a $40,000 grant in 1943. These funds aided in building an indoor swimming pool. The project benefited the public by providing work for twenty-four men for five months and gave the college the best and most modern pool in the state.3 The Work Projects Administration, or WPA, awarded State Teachers College a $48,000 grant for the building of the new library, and Gov. James H. Price arranged for another $71,000 in grant money. Work commenced on the new library on August 22, 1938 with its completion in September 1939. The college undoubtedly benefited greatly from public funds available in the era, and at the same time, private monies also found their way to the institution’s coffers. In early 1939, the Carnegie Corp. gave the school $3,000 to add to the library’s collection. Growth continued when, in 1940, the Virginia State General Assembly approved the construction of a new dormitory and appropriated $264,000 for the project. This was the first major funding for a new campus building since the onset of the Great Depression.4 The new student housing was completed, but once again growth of the campus came to a halt. This time it was due to the nation’s involvement in World War II. Then in 1946, the Jarman years came to an end. On January 29, Jarman’s retirement was announced, effective June 30. Numerous events and ceremonies were planned, and various dignitaries were invited to attend. Jarman gave his final address to the graduating class of 1946. At age 78, he retired from public life and State Teachers College and was soon elected president emeritus. Jarman lived less than two years after his retirement, and the college faculty, staff and student body were greatly touched by his death.

E n d n o t e S 1 - Board of Visitors Minutes, Book 2, 428. 2 - Board of Visitors Minutes, Book 2, 429. 3 - “P.W.A. Approves the Indoor Pool Loan,” Rotunda, January 24, 1934; “Construction Begins on Proposed Indoor Brick and Tile Pool,” Rotunda, April 25, 1934; “Modernly Made Indoor Pool Opens at S.T.C., October 16,” Rotunda, October 12, 1934. 4 - Rotunda, April 10, 1957.

Top

HEADLINE FROM THE ROTUNDA, JAN. 11, 1939

Bottom

THE SWIMMING POOL, FROM THE 1935 VIRGINIAN

PAGE 15

FRONT PAGE OF THE ROTUNDA, NOV. 8, 1939

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3

chapter

Lancaster, Lankford and Newman

Dabney S. Lancaster, President 1946-1955

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ithin three months of Joseph Leonard Jarman tendering his resignation, Dabney S. Lancaster had resigned his position as the state superintendent of education and accepted the presidency of State Teachers College. The inauguration of the seventeenth president was a memorable event with the governor of Virginia, William M. Tuck, providing opening remarks. Other notables were on the program, and Jarman formally presented Lancaster. It was quite a day, and the list of those attending looked like a “Who’s Who of Virginia higher education.”1 longwood university

Lancaster came to the college with definite ideas of how to improve it. At a time when the number of students was already low, he put measures in place that made it more difficult for applicants to gain admittance. Up until this time, most graduates of accredited high schools who applied to State Teachers School were accepted. Lancaster appointed a six-member panel of faculty and the college dean to determine who would be admitted and who would not. This careful screening of applications initially led to a drop in enrollment; however, the graduation rate soon rose from 40 percent to 55 percent as more students completed the

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Invitation to Lancaster’s Inauguration Ceremony


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Lancaster’s Inauguration, 1946

courses necessary to earn their degrees. Lancaster took pride in this statistic because, to his way of thinking, it proved that his stricter admissions policy raised the standard of the teachers the college produced. As President Lancaster pushed his plan for a better prepared student body, additional buildings and an upgraded faculty, the college once again was partially destroyed by fire. The White House, which was the building that looked like Grainger and mirrored its location on the east side of Ruffner, fell victim to fire. It was built in the early Jarman years and contributed to the symmetry that Jarman had been able to achieve. The building housed an auditorium, and forty-six students lived in the dormitory space it provided. The first signs of trouble came when girls living on the third floor smelled smoke and reported it. The account was checked out, and those involved decided that the smell was coming from four rooms in the back of the building. The college electricians, called in to inspect the wiring, found nothing wrong. Just as a precaution, the electricity to all the rooms on the third floor was turned off at the switch box, and the night watchman was warned to keep an eye on the situation as he made his rounds. He did so, checking the building every forty-five minutes. At about six o’clock the following morning, Willie Reid, a maid at the college, arrived at work and saw smoke coming from the top of the building. She duly reported the fire, and the remaining students in the building left. Then, because of concern that the fire would spread, all of the buildings on campus were evacuated. Fire departments from several localities responded to the call. The White House was soon destroyed, and the primary longwood university

Above

Front page of The Rotunda March 9, 1949

Below

Aerial view of White House fire taken by The Richmond Times Dispatch, Page 3 of The Rotunda March 9, 1949

concern was to avoid the loss of additional buildings. The fire companies worked diligently to spare them. Firefighters watered down the nearby structures and saved them from destruction, although some of them sustained severe water and smoke damage. When all was said and done, officials estimated the total cost of the fire at $300,000.

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Following the fire, citizens of Farmville immediately responded to the needs of the students. A town meeting was held in the courthouse with almost three-hundred people in attendance. Mayor F.W. Fitzpatrick opened the gathering, and President Lancaster spoke. Rev. Benjamin Bruner was called upon to suggest how the town could help. One idea was that local residents open their homes to girls without rooms and that civic groups collect money to replace clothes, textbooks and other necessary supplies that had been lost or damaged by the fire. Farmville citizens accepted these suggestions and pledged $5,000 on the spot, and within two days they had exceeded their goal by collecting $6,109 in cash. Going even further, they agreed to take part in raising funds necessary for reconstruction. Local merchants joined in the action. Several businesses agreed to sell clothing to the students at a 30 percent discount, and the Red Cross supplied forty-six girls with blankets. The promised aid began immediately, and most of the necessary items had been purchased and distributed by the end of the first week.2 Not long after the fire, another change occurred on campus. Discussion had been ongoing to consider another name for the State Teachers College. The December 15, 1948 edition of The Rotunda provided a rather lengthy list of possibilities: Commonwealth College, Old Dominion College, Jarman College, Ruffner College, Prince Edward College, Farmville College, Patrick Henry College, Central Virginia College, Southern Virginia College, Jefferson College, Venable College, Jefferson-Henry College, Longwood College and Weyanoke College. At the March board meeting, Lancaster presented a report on the actions taken to select the institution’s new name. Alumnae chapters, the student body, faculty, Rotunda staff and other interested friends had been consulted concerning an appropriate name for the college. Results of polls taken on the numerous suggestions showed that opinions differed greatly. In the end, the board at its meeting in March 1949, voted to officially rename Farmville State Teachers College. The name chosen was Longwood College.3 World War II was now a memory, and once again the college began to expand. Lancaster pointed out some of the changes in a speech to the Farmville Chamber of Commerce in 1952. Longwood College had one-thousand students and was now not solely devoted to teacher training. He reported that from 1949 through 1952, $1.5 million had been spent to improve the college and programs of study longwood university

it offered. Before Lancaster arrived, the State Teachers College had been accredited by the Virginia State Board of Education, Southern Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and Association of Virginia Colleges. During Lancaster’s administration, the college became a member of the Association of American Colleges and the National Association of Business Teachers Institutions. Not only did the student body increase and the curriculum expand, but new buildings were also added. In 1951, Jarman Hall was furnished, equipped, and opened. A much needed new science building was completed on the southwest corner of the campus. The building housed the chemistry, biology and physics departments. A greenhouse was included for botany students, and on the second story of the building, a museum was to be shared by all departments. Longwood continued to expand by purchasing the houses directly across from the Rotunda. These houses were remodeled and used as temporary faculty housing. The college purchased other parcels of land and spent another $5,000 on landscaping.

Top

Front page headline, The Rotunda Wednesday March 30, 1949

Above

Jarman Hall

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Below

Science Building

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Jarman Auditorium Organ

The Music Department grew dramatically during Lancaster’s nine years at the helm. In 1946, only one professor taught piano and voice, and one associate professor instructed students in music for the public schools. By 1954, the full-time music faculty had increased to six with one part-time instructor. Beginning in 1952, the college offered a degree program in music. The alumnae presented the college with a four-manual organ for Jarman Auditorium. During the Lancaster years, more emphasis began to be placed on faculty degrees. When Lancaster retired, 30 percent of the college’s faculty held a doctorate, and none had less than a master’s degree. Lancaster stressed the need for highly trained and well-educated teachers and complained of the inadequacy of salaries paid to faculty. By 1954, the compensation for Longwood’s teaching staff had increased, with full professors being paid almost $2,000 more annually than they had been paid in 1946. As the educational level and size of the faculty climbed, a graduate program was added and other curricula expanded. Many positive changes occurred during Lancaster’s presidency, and with his upcoming departure on everyone’s mind, the 1955 Founder’s Day celebration was planned to pay tribute to his nine years at Longwood. It was a time for fine speeches, warm remembrances and glowing tributes to both Lancaster and his wife. longwood university

After learning of Lancaster’s upcoming retirement, members of Longwood’s faculty took an unusual step. They formed a committee of senior faculty members who sent a signed letter to the State Board of Education concerning the appointment of the institution’s next president. They wanted Francis Greenfield Lankford, and they spelled out six reasons to support their request: 1. His scholarship in the field of mathematics will immediately enable him to gain the respect of a faculty itself strong in the academic tradition; 2. His college teaching experience will provide the kind of leadership which will proceed from an insight unto the essence of the educational program itself; 3. His experience includes a manifest interest in teacher education; 4. His philosophy of education will likely favor the continuance of present college policies of selective admissions, a respectable graduate program, strong academic departments and a democratic approach to policymaking and administration; 5. He has the personal qualities of “a gentleman as well as a scholar”; 6. He has demonstrated a talent for administration in his duties at the University of Virginia and in his work in the field of mathematics and education on both state and national levels. On November 17, less than a month after the faculty’s letter strongly recommending Lankford was sent, The Rotunda announced Lankford’s appointment by the state board. He was, as the faculty had pointed out, well qualified for the position. Not long after being selected for the position, Lankford traveled to the campus, m e t w i t h Pre s i d e n t Lancaster and was interviewed by the school newspaper. Left

Dr. Francis G. Lankford, Jr., President 1955-1965

Below

Front page of The Rotunda, Nov. 17, 1954

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Lankford took the reins of Longwood College on July 1, 1955, and once again an impressive ceremony was planned to mark his inauguration. Sixteen college presidents attended the December 12 event, which was held in the Rotunda. Virginia Gov. Thomas Stanley was on hand for the salutation. Lancaster formally presented his successor, Lankford. Other important personages took the podium prior to President Lankford’s speech. After his introduction, he commented that his administration would be remembered for the results achieved, not the hopes and ideas that were expressed at his inauguration. During his address, Lankford said that he and Longwood College faced some difficult times. He saw many challenges with combining the aspects of a liberal arts education and teacher training, and he realized the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education would have serious ramifications. Lankford also commented on the need for more adequate pay for teachers and stressed the future impact of “baby boomers” on the state’s educational system.4 He was correct. Longwood soon found itself in the midst of a very difficult situation in Prince Edward County. Lankford’s plans for his administration were often overshadowed by serious problems, which were not of the college’s making. Remarkably, through his leadership, Longwood was able to make considerable progress in spite of the turmoil. In one aspect, Lankford was much like Jarman. They were both builders. Longwood was growing and would need to continue to do so to accommodate the increasing demand for teachers and college education for women. This would require a larger campus, changes to the existing infrastructure, and more and advanced course offerings. Even in Lankford’s first year, an important theme — build for the future — was put into practice. Longwood College acquired more land, and the concept of a fifty-acre campus became more feasible as the campus longwood university

Aerial view of campus, 1955

Lankford (center) at inauguration ceremony, printed in The Rotunda Dec. 14, 1955

began spreading. In 1957, a lot and house on the south side of High Street was purchased from Fannie Cralle for $15,000; the trustees of First Baptist Church sold the parsonage property located on the corner of Ely and Chambers Street to the college for $14,000; and a house and lot on Ely Street was purchased from the W.C. Falwell estate. After acquiring additional Ely Street property in 1959, the college began construction of a new dormitory named in honor of Leona Wheeler, who taught speech and drama at Longwood for many years, which would provide housing for 182 students. The United States was involved in the Cold War, and the threat of an atomic war seemed a reality, so, even before Wheeler was completed, the college reached an agreement with the Civil Defense Authority of Virginia to utilize a room in the basement to store equipment for an emergency field hospital. Provisions were also stored in the basement of Grainger just in case of a nuclear attack.5

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Top Left

Top Right

Miss Leona Wheeler, 1925

Wheeler Dormitory under construction, 1960

Above Left

Above Right

Florence H. Stubbs, 1946

Stubbs Dormitory, 1961

Above

Miss Mary White Cox, 1942

longwood university

Longwood’s land holdings continued to increase in the early 1960s. Parcels were bought on Pine and Ely streets, and the college expressed interest in buying the Weyanoke Hotel and converting it into dormitories. Those plans were quashed after a committee formed by the State Board of Education determined that the cost of such a venture was too high.6 With the Weyanoke proposal out of consideration, plans for more student housing led to the construction of yet another dormitory. This dorm was named after Mary White Cox, who served the college in the Home Department for forty-one years. Before it was finished, rising enrollment resulted in the need for even more space. The answer would be to build Stubbs Hall, which was named for Florence H. Stubbs, a professor for many years. New buildings provided much needed housing, but some of Longwood’s older buildings began to show signs of age. Lancaster Library needed renovation. It had been in use since 1939, and major remodeling maintained the original architectural components, while the interior was modernized, and an addition was attached to the rear of the initial structure. The building was air-conditioned and improvements made to control the humidity. The revitalized Lancaster Library boasted a microfilm reading room and five new machines, making access to the rolls of negatives much more convenient. Staff and student lounges were upgraded. Changes reflected the growing student body, and the library could accommodate 450 students with the completion of renovations.

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More property fell under Longwood College’s umbrella while Fred Wygal was acting president in 1963. Vera O. Allen’s house on Madison Street was purchased. Within a four-year period, the college had bought a dozen pieces of property. Growth and improvement continued. Not just new buildings helped turn the institute into a thriving twentiethcentury college; at the same time, Longwood’s signature building, Ruffner, underwent a significant change. Part of it was turned into classrooms, and the kitchen was completely remodeled and upgraded, including the installation of new equipment. Soon to follow was a new shop building named for Samuel P. Graham, Longwood College’s business manager for many years. Then the Old Training School, which had been in use since 1913, was refurbished and used for the Department of Education and some of the social sciences. Expansion of the Dining Hall increased the seating capacity and eliminated the overcrowding problem. Rising enrollment resulted in the need for even more living quarters, and the construction of South Cunningham Hall added student rooms. Longwood had not completed its growth spurt yet. Even before South Cunningham began housing students, plans for expansion were under way. A new student activities building was in the works, and plans were under way for a new athletics field. Quite unlike the plans for the first student building, the state supported the need for the activity building in 1960s, and the result was a 34,695-square-foot building that had a bowling alley, pool tables and housed the post office. It also was home to the bookstore for a time. The structure was completed in 1966 and dedicated to Lankford on March 16, 1968. Lankford had even laid the stage for a fine arts complex before his retirement, and the groundwork for Iler Gymnasium also began in the Lankford years. One reason for all of the building during the Lankford years was the rapidly growing student population. Lankford followed Lancaster’s lead and continued the use of selective admissions. Still, in Lankford’s ten years as Longwood’s longwood university

Top Ruffner interior post 1963 renovations

Above Left

Samuel Graham, from The Rotunda March 15, 1967

Above Right

Current view of Graham Building

Below

Cunningham Hall, 1950

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The Student Activity Building

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president, the number of students had almost doubled, even with the more rigid admission requirements. Enrollment skyrocketed from 791 students in 1955 to 1,459 in 1965. Applications rose steadily, the college raised its standards, and new minimum degree requirements were put in place. President Lankford managed Longwood College well and navigated through the troubled waters of the era. The administration, faculty and staff had to deal with the problems that arose when the civil rights movement came to Prince Edward County. People responded differently, and on occasion, the situation in the town and on campus became tense. Living through the turbulent times made a great impression on some students.

Sandra Weaver Huff ’62

History records that when the integrated Prince Edward County Free School opened in the fall of 1963, Dr. Moss played a major role. When the Prince Edward County Schools reopened in May 1964, it was due in a great part to the work of Dr. Moss. What a legacy this great teacher left behind. In 2004, Judy (Detrich Brown) and I were privileged to endow a fund for the C. G. Gordon Moss Scholarship. In 2006, the class of ’56 paid tribute to Dr. Moss by establishing in his name the office of the chair of the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy. His portrait hangs with honor on the wall at the entrance of the office. In 1962, Lankford requested a one-year leave of absence to travel to East Pakistan as the chair of a committee of educators and advisers. The committee was tasked with finding a way to improve education in an area that had one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world. The board saw Lankford’s appointment as an honor, both to him and the college, and granted his request.7

Right

Dr. and Mrs. Lankford in Pakistan, 1962

longwood university

In Lankford’s absence, Fred O. Wygal ably served as acting president of Longwood. Lankford returned from East Pakistan and resumed his position and found that the problems, which existed when he left, remained. He tried to handle issues concerned with race in a fair and evenhanded manner. When he sought guidance from the Board of Education on specific incidents, he found it offered little help. Then in 1964, Virginia’s General Assembly created the Board of Visitors, an independent body of control, for Longwood College. Lankford tendered his resignation to the new board on February 3, 1965;however, his departure did not bring an end to the issues Longwood had faced under his administration. There was a fear of campus unrest, probably stemming more from the actions of students on other college campuses all over the nation rather than actual incidents at Longwood. While college administrations all over the nation were dealing with demonstrations, riots and other worrisome actions, Longwood experienced only minor turmoil. One student had invited a Communist Party speaker to campus, and a few students had spoken of staging a civil rights demonstration.

The search committee for the president had a rather daunting mission of finding an individual who filled the faculty’s criteria and could handle the social difficulties of the 1960s. The newly formed Board of Visitors needed to find a new leader for Longwood College in a time that was a bit more turbulent than during the institution’s earlier years. Longwood’s faculty members once again offered suggestions concerning qualities they believed were important for the new president, but they did not openly endorse a particular candidate. The faculty offered the President’s Advisory Council a rather lengthy list containing thirteen criteria. They were rather specific about the attributes the new president should possess. According to the list, the new president should be no more than fifty years old and preferably younger than forty-five, he must have an understanding of Southern attitudes, and the faculty requested, “he be socially inclined and his wife should be capable of entertaining graciously and of assuming the role of official college hostess.” Faculty members’ expectations were quite high, and they not only wanted a young, socially acceptable president, but they also wanted him to have an “earned doctorate, scholarly publications, administrative and teaching experience, knowledge of administrative procedures and the psychology of fundraising.”8 The search committee for the president had a rather daunting mission of finding an individual who filled the faculty’s criteria and could handle the social difficulties of the 1960s.

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To attract the most desirable candidates, the committee members had convinced the governor to raise the incoming president’s annual salary by $1,000, from $17,000 to $18,000. Then they sifted through a hundred applications and narrowed the possible candidates to three. Finally, they turned the matter over to the Board of Visitors, which chose the new president from the final three candidates. The board’s selection was James H. Newman. He did not meet many of the standards on the faculty list. He was fifty-seven years of age, held an honorary doctorate and had no publications to his credit. Some faculty members believed that because a terminal degree was increasingly being required of them, the same should be expected of the college president. After the announcement of Newman’s appointment, although several of the faculty’s criteria were not met, all indications show that most were satisfied with the board’s choice. In the summer, Newman traveled to Farmville and met with President Lankford, and everyone seemed pleased. The optimism following the announcement of Newman’s appointment did not prevail. Newman’s administration seemed to get off on the wrong foot. His wife did not move to Farmville until May 1966, and this seemed to cause some resentment. By the early days of Newman’s second year, many had lost confidence in his ability to lead the college. Some of the problems stemmed from the situation caused by Prince Edward’s earlier closing of the public schools and the negative impact it had on Longwood. Tempers often flared on campus during Newman’s last year, and on June 22, 1967, the Board of Visitors, who two years earlier had voted to hire Newman, voted unanimously to relieve him of his responsibilities. Once again, the college’s governing body asked Fred Wygal to serve as acting president until a new president could be appointed. Above

Dr. James H. Newman, President 1965-1967

Left

Newman and Lankford on campus, 1965

E n d n o t e s 1 - Richard Couture manuscript, 204. 2 - The Rotunda, March 9, 1949. 3 - State Teachers College Board Meeting, March 22-25, 1949, 63. 4 - “Inauguration of Francis Greenfield Lankford, Jr. as President of Longwood College,” Dec 12, 1955. Bulletin of Longwood College, March, 1956, vol. 42, no. 1. 5 - State Board of Education, Board Book, 1957-59, 54. 6 - State Board of Education, Board Book, 1961, 40. 7 - Board Book, 1962, 22. 8 - President’s Advisory Council, Report, March 11, 1965. Longwood University Archives. longwood university

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President Willett (center) with Dr. Edgar Shannon, president of University of Virginia and Dr. Taylor Reveley, president of Hampden Sydney

W

hile Wygal served his second stint as the acting president of Longwood College, the search committee once again went through the process of trying to find the right man to lead the institution. Its quest resulted in the appointment of Henry I. Willett on December 1, 1967. He was a young man, just thirty-six, and described as having been “recognized in educational circles” and “having demonstrated professional leadership.”1 Willett was Longwood’s twentieth president, and arrangements were under way to make his inaugural celebration the most impressive in the college’s history. After its appointment, the inaugural committee immediately began planning the event, which would encompass two days. longwood university

On November 22, 1968, an official reception, allowing the public an opportunity to meet Willett, was held in the Gold Room of the Lankford Building followed by the drama department’s presentation of “The King and I” in Jarman Auditorium. The evening was capped off with a coffee hour in the Alumnae House. Festivities began anew the following morning with invited guests and delegates meeting in the library for an hour prior to the commencement of the Inaugural Convocation. The academic procession, led by L. Marshall Hall, marched to Jarman Auditorium for a ceremony scheduled to last two hours. An inaugural luncheon was served to guests in the Rotunda, and at 2:15, the Longwood Concert Choir sang.

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Rededication of the Ruffner Hall, 2005


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Above

Thomas McCorkle

Right

George Jeffers

The science building with new McCorkle and Jeffers additions

Dr. Henry I. Willett Jr., President 1967-1981

Two activity-packed days marked the inauguration of Longwood’s new president.2 Many distinguished personages attended. Virginia Gov. Mills Godwin gave the main address, and presidents from fifty-six colleges and universities attended. Among the distinguished guests was the president of Hampden-Sydney College, Walter Taylor Reveley II, grandfather of Longwood University’s twenty-sixth president, W. Taylor Reveley IV. It was quite an impressive beginning. Longwood College seemed to move into high gear and attempted to put away the negative experiences of the past few years. The period saw the dedication of several buildings: Stubbs Hall, the Graham building and Iler Gymnasium. The West Wing was named for Grainger, and the Student Building was dedicated to Lankford on Founder’s Day. Also in 1967, an addition was added to Stevens and named for Thomas A. McCorkle, who had taught physics and chemistry at the college for 38 years. The following year, an octagonal auditorium was built on the side of the science building and dedicated to George W. Jeffers, who was employed by the college for 42 years from 1926 through 1968. The continuing need for new buildings also reflected the ongoing increase in student enrollment. longwood university

The Wygal building opened in 1968 and housed the music department, including the 200-seat Molnar Recital Hall, named for John Molnar, head of the department. Soon afterward in 1970, Bedford opened and was dedicated to Virginia Bedford, who taught art at the college from 1928 through 1972. Its gallery featured work by Longwood art students and professional artists. Bedford also had a small auditorium, which accommodated 176 people and several studios for painting, sculpting and other instruction in art.

Molnar Recitial Hall

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Artist rendition of art complex

Construction of two new dormitories provided additional on-campus housing for students. Curry, completed in 1969, was the first of two high-rise residences on the Longwood campus. The following fall, students moved into Frazer. These ten-story buildings shared the same floor plan, and a commons room connected them. They were the tallest buildings in Farmville. To provide even more space for students, the first and second stories of the old student building were converted to dormitory housing and renamed in honor of Raymond Holliday French, a Longwood chemistry professor for many years who was affectionately referred to as “Charlie Hop.�

Above

Fred Wygal

Right

Virginia Bedford

Below

Wygal Building

Left

John Molnar

Right

Raymond French

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Top Left

French, 1956

Top Right

Raymond “Charlie Hop� French and Dr. Jeffers

Left

Construction photos of the high rises

Above

The high rises after completion

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Building continued in the 1970s. The laboratory school was constructed in 1970 and named the John P. Wynne Campus School, in honor of Wynne and his contributions to the development of teacher training at Longwood. The “round school,” so called due to its unusual shape, opened in September 1970 for kindergarten through grade seven. It also had an auditorium, library, and music and art facilities. In 1972, a new facility for the home economics department opened and was named for M. Boyd Coyner and his wife Ruth Harding Coyner, who was a member of the class of 1913. M. Boyd Coyner taught education at the college for forty-two years, and his wife worked on campus for twentythree years and served as the first Executive Secretary of the Alumni Association. Coyner Hall had a child development center, foods laboratory, housing and home-furnishing laboratory, and textile laboratory.3

During Willett’s administration, his family moved to Longwood Estate. The decision to change the location of the president’s residence had been made even before Willett’s appointment. The original plan had been to build a new house somewhere on Longwood Estate. Willett’s wife, Mary, after touring the existing house, requested that the money appropriated for a new structure be used to renovate the lovely old building. The Board of Visitors agreed to her proposal, and the Willetts moved from the house on High Street to Longwood House in November 1969. The old Cunningham house that had served as the president’s official residence since Jarman’s administration became the Alumni House. In 1973, the college expanded its physical plant with the addition of Bristow, named after R.C. Bristow, who had served as the college’s superintendent of building and grounds. The final building constructed during the Willett years was Lancer Hall, which was finished in 1981. It contained a gymnasium which could seat three thousand, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a dance studio, a weight room and one of the best equipped centers dedicated to studying health, exercise and sports in the state.4 The story of the Willett years is not all about building and growth. The early period seemed to reflect the high hopes spoken of in the inauguration. One example of the happier

Above

Wynne Building

Left

John Wynne

Bottom Left

Ruth Harding Coyner

Bottom Right

Left

Mary Willett with Henry Willett

Below

Lancer Hall

M. Boyd Coyner

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Right

Bristow building


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days of the Willett administration occurred in April 1969, when students planned and staged Henry Willett Day, a surprise celebration for Longwood’s president. Chairman of the Board of Visitors, E. Angus Powell, was part of the plan. On the appointed afternoon, he went to the president’s office and asked Willett to take a walk with him. At about 4:45, the two arrived at Wheeler Mall, where most of the students had assembled. The students waved blue and white banners, wore buttons stating “This is Willett Country” and even sang his two favorite songs. The Richmond Times Dispatch reported on the rally and called it a protest in reverse because this was a time of great unrest on many of the nation’s other college campuses. Willett was obviously pleased. Longwood was able to make several important adjustments in the 1970s with little fanfare and few problems. Racial integration proceeded without incident. Nancy “Cookie” Scott , Longwood’s first black graduate was a member of the

longwood university

class of 1972. Then in 1976, the ROTC came to campus; not everyone approved, but its arrival proceeded smoothly. In that same year, Longwood accepted its first male residential students, thus becoming co-ed. The impact caused by that change was great.

Left

Nancy “Cookie” Scott

Below

Willett Day

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Men at Longwood, photos from The Virginian - 1977

Somehow, in the next decade, the positive attitude toward the Willett administration began to diminish. The high regard for Longwood’s president eroded. Where in 1969, students had planned and executed Henry Willett Day to surprise and honor their president, in January 1981, 573 students signed a petition asking for his immediate removal from office. The problems within the Willett administration divided the faculty, staff and students at the college and, for a while, all of the positive accomplishments of Willett’s early years were forgotten. Eventually, under pressure from all directions, Willett resigned, and Longwood began the arduous process of mending fences and making peace. One of the first steps taken was to find a president who could help bring Longwood back together after the schism that brought down Willett’s administration. To this end, Longwood’s Board of Visitors moved quickly longwood university

by appointing a six-member search committee. In addition, an eighteen-member screening committee was appointed to assist in the hiring process. Applications were accepted until January 5, and committee members initially screening them were to complete their task by January 31. Those responsible for finding Longwood’s new president wanted to find just the right person to lead the college and heal the wounds. Members of the Board of Visitors went to great lengths to accomplish this task; some even visited the communities of the final candidates to learn more about them. The search committee believed that after the past two controversial presidents, it needed to diligently seek out the very best person for the job.5 The Board of Visitors made its selection on March 16, 1981, when Janet Greenwood was unanimously elected as the twenty-first president. Although the effective date of

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Willett’s resignation was August 31, 1981, Greenwood’s appointment was, according to the minutes of the board’s meeting, effective immediately. Board members stipulated that she would be asked to assume her duties part-time on April 6, if possible, then be required to take on full responsibilities on June 1. The change was made, and on September 1, Greenwood occupied Longwood’s presidential office, while Willett went to the campus of Old Dominion University as a senior lecturer.6 Longwood heralded Janet Greenwood as the first female president of the one-hundred-and-forty-two-year-old institution, and technically that was correct. She was the first woman to have the title of president; however, a century earlier, Fanny Carter had run the then-private school for two years. At the time of her appointment, Greenwood was the only woman president at a Virginia state-supported, four-year college. She was thirty-eight when she took over the leadership of Longwood, and she did so with a clear understanding of the many problems to be faced. Soon, Greenwood began to make her mark on the institution.7 The Greenwood inauguration, on April 17, 1982, began with a luncheon with a guest list that included many VIPs. Immediately following was an academic march complete with music provided by the Longwood College Concert Band. The ceremony commenced with an invocation and a series of short opening remarks made by various campus organizations. After other speakers, Greenwood delivered her inaugural address, which centered on the concept of “Forward Together.” Soon after Greenwood took over leadership of Longwood, administrative changes began. Some left the college immediately to accept positions at other institutions, some resigned, and others left their administrative positions and returned to the classroom. Many of the high-ranking positions were filled by outside applicants. With the transition complete, Greenwood turned her attention to other matters.8 Longwood was interested in acquiring private funding for the Fine Arts Complex. This was accomplished when the Jessie Ball duPont Religious, Charitable and Educational Fund, established by Jessica Ball duPont who had attended the college when it was named theFarmville Normal School, awarded a substantial grant for the complex. The Greenwood administration, by using that connection, enabled Longwood to substantially benefit from the duPont Fund. Longwood also received more than $25 million in state funding for a projected new library, a Business Innovation Center, and renovations of Jarman Auditorium and several of the residence halls. The Greenwood years were also a time of broadening horizons. President Greenwood traveled to Europe in 1982 and made important contacts with several universities and colleges that were interested in participating in an exchange program with Longwood. University presidents from longwood university

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Janet D. Greenwood, president 1981-1987

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Greenwood and Lancaster on inauguration day

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L’Université de Nice, L’Université de Toulouse and L’Université de Tours visited Longwood’s campus in April 1983. By the end of Greenwood’s administration, arrangements had been made for student exchanges in Germany and France.9 Greenwood resigned in June 1986, and George W. Healy came out of retirement to serve as president while the college found a new leader. The Board of Visitors chose William F. Dorrill from a large number of applicants. His inauguration, held in September 1989, was a two-day affair that was capped off by a ball on Saturday evening in Lankford Hall and attended by one-thousand guests. Dorrill’s address announced his optimistic plans for the college. Longwood, he confidently stated, “is destined to become the best medium-sized, comprehensive college in the Virginia State System of higher education and one of the best in the nation.” 10

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Dorrill’s inauguration

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William F. Dorrill, president 1988-1996


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Dorrill, who came to Longwood as its twentysecond president, went to work to increase the college’s international student population. In so doing, he also established study-abroad opportunities for both students and faculty with many educational institutions worldwide. Under his administration, SAT scores of those accepted to Longwood rose. Overall admissions also grew, with a 12 percent increase in undergraduate admissions. With the addition of graduate degrees, the enrollment in graduate programs grew by 97 percent. The physical aspect of the campus also changed during Dorrill’s presidency. In 1988, the Fountain Plaza, with its beautiful and peaceful setting, was constructed as part of the Sequicentennial celebration.11 By the late 1980s, the need for a larger and more modern library was evident, and in 1991, a new building housed the college’s holdings as well as provided a setting for students to study and perform various other academic tasks with the aid of modern technology. Steadily increasing enrollment necessitated the building of the Academic Residence Dormitory, or ARC, which was completed in 1992 and could house 160 students. Those residing in ARC had to be upperclassmen who maintained an overall GPA of at least 2.75 and who were selected after submitting a special application. Toward the end of Dorrill’s administration, the Hull Building, which housed the School of Education and Human Services, was built. It opened in July 1996 and was dedicated the following May to Andrew W. Hull, president emeritus of the Longwood College Foundation, and Duvahl Ridgeway-Hull, Class of 1933, former rector of Longwood Board of Visitors. Lancaster received a complete renovation and was destined to become the office of Longwood’s future presidents. Throughout Dorrill’s tenure, a growing student population strained Longwood’s aging infrastructure. Even with the addition of new buildings, the college appeared to be bursting at its seams. Much discussion was dedicated to how to accommodate the growing needs of students. Several buildings experienced upgrades and renovations. In 1996, Patricia Picard Cormier came to Longwood College as its twenty-fourth president. She arrived on campus in August and moved into her office in the newly renovated Lancaster building. Immediately, Cormier

became involved with numerous aspects of campus. From August 1996 until May 1997, her name is mentioned in every edition of The Rotunda. On September 17, she met with students to discuss various topics. Reports of the meeting reveal that both students and Cormier were pleased with the open and frank exchange that came about in the forum.12 That same week, Cormier met with and spoke to incoming first-year students and their families at Freshman Family Day.13 In 1997, even before her inauguration, Cormier was participating in all manner of activities. In February, she spoke at the Princeps Leadership Dinner, and in April, she opened the Longwood baseball season by throwing out the first pitch. A Rotunda article stated, “Dr. Cormier is believed to be the first president to inaugurate the baseball season.”14 Her dedication to sports at Longwood would continue. By early spring of 1997, the campus was buzzing with preparations for Cormier’s inauguration. An Inaugural Lecture Series began in March as part of the events leading up to the installation of Cormier as Longwood’s president. Then on April 11, on Wheeler Mall, faculty, staff, students and guests from other institutions, near and far, gathered for the usual prayers, introductions and speeches that are part

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ARC Dormitory

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Library 1993

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Photos of the fountain plaza under construction

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and parcel of such an affair. Cormier chose “connections” as her theme. The ceremonies and celebrations continued throughout the day and ended with a band entertaining the guests on Lankford Mall.15 With all the formalities and events of the inaugural process accomplished, Cormier set about the business of running the college. During her fourteen years at Longwood, numerous changes to the physical campus occurred, some planned and some not. Patricia P. Cormier, president 1996-2010 The loss of the Ruffner building and the meaningful Rotunda is probably the event that had the greatest impact on the Longwood community and all those with a connection to the school. The structure, often referred to as the school’s “most beloved building,” was undergoing extensive renovation at the time. On the evening of April 24, 2001, a fire was discovered, and the adjoining buildings were evacuated. As students, faculty and townspeople watched more than 175 firefighters battle the flames, the Rotunda collapsed.

The fire destroyed Ruffner, and although Grainger still stood, it was eventually declared a total loss due to the damage caused by the blaze, smoke and water. The diligent work of the firefighters halted the fire at the Tabb Residence Hall. Amazingly, even with its suddenness and intensity, no one was injured and, almost miraculously, Joanie on the Pony (the university’s equestrian sculpture of Joan of Arc) stood on the Colonnade unscathed. 16

Jennifer Lewis Bateman ’03

I was sitting in my dorm room and all of a sudden we heard there was a fire on campus – before we knew it Frazer was being evacuated as officials were worried about an underground gas line exploding, As I exited Frazer, I remember looking at the Rotunda at the precise moment that it opened up like a blossoming flower and an enormous fireball skyrocketed out. I couldn’t believe my eyes. That visual of the Rotunda has stuck in my mind throughout the years after leaving LU.

Ruffner Fire of 2001

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FA R M V I LLE ’ S CONFEDE R ATE STAT U E F I G H TS T H E G R EAT LON G W OOD F I R E OF 2 0 0 1

James William Jordan professor of anthropology and chief faculty marshal, Longwood University I am an archaeologist and when I first walked up High Street in August 1978, I marveled at the stories that must be hidden in the walls of those beautiful homes across from the Longwood campus. Mrs. Lucy Lancaster lived in the lovely Victorian house that sits directly in front of Jarman Auditorium and she had a quaint gift shop in her front parlor. I often took my young daughters to shop there and to hear Mrs. Lancaster tell stories of the olden days in Farmville. One of her favorite tales concerned the Confederate Monument located just down the Street.

The Monument was unveiled on October 11, 1900 by the Governor of Virginia to a crowd of 3,000 people; music was provided by the famous Farmville Silver Military Band. Mrs. Lancaster said that as long as you could see the shadow of the Confederate soldier, cast at night by the streetlight onto the wall of the Rotunda across the street, all was well in Farmville. Mrs. Lancaster passed away many years ago but her tale remained with me and the Confederate statue remained on duty. At 9:12 p.m. April 24, 2001, “The Great Longwood Fire” began in the Rotunda—27 hours, 11 alarms, 181 firefighters, and 3.2 million gallons of water later Longwood had lost its oldest link to the past, reduced to smoldering embers. A Longwood student, Phillip Taylor, stood on High Street watching, with almost the entire student body, the progress of the flames. He took this photograph of the roof at about 2 a.m.

He did not realize until months later, when he had the film developed, what he had captured with his camera. You can clearly see in the left end of the line of flames the fiery image of the Confederate soldier, with his rifle at the ready and smoke issuing from the barrel. He has left the monument across High Street and was assaulting the Great Fire – I believe this in my heart. This tale and this photograph, have become a most significant chapter in the story of Longwood’s past. It has taken a prominent place in the folklore of Virginia, published in the classic volume, “The Ghosts of Virginia,” by L. B. Taylor, Jr.

Aftermath of Ruffner Fire, 2001

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Just as with the previous fire in 1949, people pitched in to help. Students helped their fellow students; faculty assisted students; students aided faculty; businesses and individuals in Farmville gave assistance to the Longwood community and those who helped battle the fire. The full back page of the April 26 issue of The Rotunda contained a partial list of those who had lent a helping hand.17 On the morning after the fire, President Cormier, after an eight o’clock meeting with her executive staff, called for a campus meeting to be held at eleven o’clock in Jarman Auditorium. In a move that surprised many, Longwood cancelled not only classes for the rest of the semester but also final exams. Additionally, the administration told all students to vacate their dorms by noon on Saturday. Longwood’s tragic fire was an important news item. Pictures and stories were featured in local, state and national media. College officials alerted their students, faculty and alumni through the Internet. The news came as a shock to all, and it was difficult to believe that a building that held so many memories was gone.

Barbara Shepard ‘95

As a graduate student at Ole’ Miss frantically studying for my comprehensive exams, I began my mornings very early; however, on Wednesday, April 25, when checking my email a letter from the Longwood Alumni Association caught my eye. Ruffner had been destroyed by fire. After viewing several devastating pictures which accompanied the message, no doubt remained. The Rotunda was no more! Ruffner had been reduced to rubble. Still, it was very difficult to believe. Time passed and I returned from Oxford, Mississippi, began teaching at Longwood, and when Ruffner was rebuilt, moved into my office there and taught in its classrooms.

Ruffner interior, after renovation

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If there was any doubt that Ruffner and the Rotunda would be rebuilt, then President Cormier laid it to rest. On the day after the fire, she made it clear that Longwood would not long be deprived of its premier structures. She said, “Let me tell you again, Longwood remains strong and we will see Ruffner and the Rotunda rise from the ashes and assume new life.”18 These words were comforting to those who were feeling sadness and shock at the loss of Longwood’s most memorable edifices. Ruffner was to be rebuilt to its former splendor using the original plans and blueprints located in the Virginia State Archives. The campus was bustling with all the construction. Grainger was completed and reopened in August 2003. The proposal to make Longwood a more pedestrian friendly campus went forward as work on Brock Commons progressed with a 2005 projected completion date. Plans were under way for a new science building. Probably, most importantly, Ruffner was under construction. Its progress was monitored closely and with impatience, but as the building neared completion, people realized that their wait had been well worthwhile.

Christina Shelby ‘05

Fences dominated so much of the campus for those four years—most days were spent skirting various construction sites on our way to meals and classes. I have to admit making Pine St. pedestrianonly was a good idea, though it always felt like something was missing without the hill in front of the dining hall, the fountain and various sculptures were nice but lacking that broken-in feeling.

The new building was a close match to the original in scale and detail; however, it was constructed with a concrete and steel frame structure that was more flame resistant. Thankfully, prior to the fire, important pieces of memorabilia, including the original canvas paintings on the Rotunda dome, were in storage due to the restoration.

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Top Left

Brock Commons

Top Right

Grainger Hall, exterior and interior after renovations

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Above

Ruffner rotunda under construction and classroom after renovations

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Rotunda paintings after renovations

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Brock Commons added much to the campus, Grainger was finished and in use, Ruffner did return in all its glory, and Longwood continued to grow. Every year, enrollment figures increased. The Chichester Science Center, after several delays and setbacks, opened for the spring 2006 semester. The four-story, state-of-the-art facility, named for John H. and Karen Williams Chichester, was officially dedicated on December 7, 2007. 19 In August 2007, the 75,000-square-foot Health and Fitness Center opened. The facility boasted a 7,300-squarefoot fitness center, two full-court gymnasiums, a multipurpose gymnasium, three group exercise rooms, two racquetball courts, a thirty-foot climbing wall, a oneeighth mile walking/jogging track, and numerous pieces of cardiovascular and strength equipment. As the finishing touches were being placed on the Health and Fitness Center in April 2007, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the Center for Communication Studies and Theatre. The impressive three-story building was completed in time for the fall 2009 semester and was officially opened on September 10 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. longwood university

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Communication Studies and Theatre Building

Above Left

Health and Wellness Center

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Health and Wellness Center interior

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Communication Studies and Theatre interior

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Cormier retired in 2010, and in her years at the helm, Longwood College became Longwood University, enrollment rose from 3,325 to 4,700, the school’s sports program went from Division II to Division I, and a nursing degree program as well as other new degree programs were added. Brigadier Gen. Patrick Finnegan was named Longwood University’s twentyfifth president by the Board of Visitors. He would hold the position for only two years. Due to health reasons, he submitted his resignation in May, to be effective June 30, 2012. In his short time at the institution, he negotiated Longwood’s acceptance into the Big South Conference, and he also established a Compensation Task Force, whose purpose was to develop an action plan to make faculty and staff salaries more competitive. He developed a remarkable rapport with students, who referred to him as “P-Finn.” After accepting Finnegan’s resignation, Ken Perkins, interim vice president for academic affairs, continued to serve as acting president of Longwood until the Board of Visitors appointed an interim president. The board chose Marge Connelly, the former Rector of the Board of Visitors, and she served in that role while a presidential search was conducted. Top Right

President Patrick Finnegan, “P-Finn”, at Color Wars

Far Right

Patrick Finnegan, president 2010-2012

Right Top

Ken Perkins, interim vice president for academic affairs

Right Bottom

Marge Connelly, interim president, 2012-2013

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On Saturday, March 23, 2013, the Board of Visitors unanimously chose W. Taylor Reveley IV as Longwood’s president. Reveley’s appointment was scheduled to begin June 1, 2013 and continue through at least 2018. He came to Longwood with a substantial list of accomplishments and experiences. He has some close connections to the college, beginning more than a century ago with his greatgrandmother Carrie Rennie Eason ’10, his grandmother Marie Eason Reveley-Harris ’40, and her sisters, Caroline Eason Roberts ’42 and Julia Eason Mercer ’44. Additionally, his great-grandfather Thomas D. Eason taught biology at the college. Reveley also hails from an impressive line of college presidents. His father, W. Taylor Reveley III, is president of the College of William and Mary, and his grandfather Walter Taylor Reveley II was Hampden-Sydney’s president from 1963 to 1977.

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E n d n o t e s

Walter Taylor Reveley IV, president 2013-

Left

1-“Longwood’s New President,” Public Relations Office Press Release, October 12, 1967. Longwood University Archives. 2-Richard Couture, unpublished manuscript, Longwood University Archives, 267. 3-Public Relations Department, Campus Guide, 1983. 4-Couture, 272. 5-Couture, 282. 6 -”Ex-Longwood President Joins Staff at ODU,” Richmond News-Leader, September 1, 1981. 7-Couture, 342. 8-Janet Greenwood to all faculty members and staff, memo dated November 16, 1981. Copy in Longwood University Archives. 9-Visit by Presidents of French Universities to Longwood College, April, 19-21, 1983, copy, Longwood University Archives. 10-“Longwood President Inaugurated,” The Rotunda, September 12, 1989. 11-“The Changing Campus: Blackwell Mall,” The Rotunda, September 13, 1988. longwood university

Reveley IV with painting of his great-grandfather Eason

12-“Dr. Cormier Conducts Open Forum with Students,” The Rotunda, September 25, 1996. 13-“Freshman Family Day,” The Rotunda, September 15, 1996. 14-“Dr. Cormier to Throw Out First Pitch for Longwood’s Opening Game,” The Rotunda, February 17, 1997. 15-Melanie Barker, “Cormier Stresses Connections Between Community and Longwood,” The Rotunda, April 15, 1997. 16-Stephanie Riggsby and Danuelle Pezold, “Millenium (sic) Fire Tears Longwood College Down But Not Asunder,” The Rotunda, April 26, 2001. 17-“Tribute,” The Rotunda, April 26, 2001. 18-Stephanie Riggsby and Danuelle Pezold, “Millenium (sic) Fire Tears Longwood College Down But Not Asunder,” The Rotunda, April 26, 2001. 19-“Revamped Science Building to Debut Spring 2006,” The Rotunda, October 13, 2006.

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Certificate of Proficency, 1880

L

his guardianship. In their evening studies they will enjoy the benefit of his assistance and that of his colleagues. Every exertion will be made to render the College an agreeable HOME to resident pupils. To ensure to each pupil all the care and attention promotive of health and comfort, and to give it a HOME air and influence, the number of boarding pupils has been limited to thirty. One distinctive feature of this institution is its social arrangements. The lady teachers are expected to be as elder sisters to the young ladies, and inculcate punctuality, diligence, order, neatness, easy and graceful deportment as much by example as precept. Instead of remaining in cliques in their rooms, out of school hours, to spend their time in gossip and scandal, the young ladies are encouraged to assemble with the teachers in parlors and library with needle work or a book, and a HOME feeling being thus induced, manners are improved, conversation becomes easy, and much knowledge is acquired and happiness secured.2

ittle is known about the lives of the young women who attended Farmville Female Seminary. Written accounts of the expectations for and experiences of boarding students do not appear until after the Farmville Female College was chartered in 1860. George LaMonte prepared and had printed a College Catalogue. It included a complimentary picture of the buildings and details of the rooms. “The rooms, both public and private, are large and commodious, and throughout are furnished in handsome and attractive style. Each room for young ladies is neatly carpeted, and contains a bureau, with dressing glass, large and convenient wardrobe, sofa-bedstead, good bed, toilette set, chairs and table.�1 The catalogue also stressed the home-like nature of the college. Parents sending their daughters to the school could do so with confidence that the young ladies were cared for and well chaperoned at all times. The pupils boarding in this college, reside with the family of the President, and are under

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In 1860, the college consisted of two departments: Preparatory and Collegiate. Courses offered were arithmetic, algebra, geometry, astronomy, chemistry, botany, geology, physiology, philosophy and the histories of France, Greece and Rome. Students successfully completing the required work received the title Mistress of Arts. If, however, they did not successfully fulfill all requirements, the young women might obtain a certificate of proficiency for the courses that they had mastered. In the 1860s, classes began on the last Wednesday of September and continued for forty weeks. During this time, students settled down to a structured routine. Since this was before the days of personal alarm clocks, a system of bells and the ringing of a triangle were used to inform students when to arise and attend prayers and classes. The day began with an hour of chapel services, which mainly consisted of reading scriptures and discussing them. Chapel services were followed by study and classes for six hours and then tea. In the evenings, four nights per week, a study hall was mandatory. Students closed their days with family prayers and an hour and a half of private prayer or silence before teachers conducted a room check. The annual cost of education for a boarding student at this time was $130. Those not living on campus paid only $125 per annum. Then, as now, some additional fees were to be expected. Laundry for the school year cost $20, and students were limited to 15 pieces of clothing per week. Music lessons also raised the annual cost by $45, and the study of a foreign language came with a supplementary charge. After including all the required extras, another $100 was easily added to the total cost. This was a substantial amount to be spent on the education of a young woman in 1860 and meant that most of those attending were from families of above average means.

Student Life

Following the transition to a normal school in 1884, the idea of providing a home atmosphere began to lose favor. As a result, during the Ruffner and Cunningham years, few official social rules were in place. The administration relied primarily on self-discipline. It maintained that the students attended the school to become teachers and were not in need of strict social control. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century, students at the normal school varied from young ladies to more mature matrons. School officials believed that those enrolled came to the normal school to study, not to socialize. Occasionally, ladies attending the State Female Normal School literally left their mark on the college. In 1887, just three years after the normal school was established, three students carved their names on a windowpane. The secondstory room, where they did their etching, then served as a dormitory space. The students took turns writing their first names with a diamond ring, most likely. Their names remained for more than a century. Then, Jesse Grant, a local craftsman, was renovating some windows in Ruffner. Luckily, he had a keen eye and an avid interest in history. After reporting his find, the investigation was on to find the identities of the engravers. Alumni records easily matched the first names to the last names. Fannie Jeffress of Mecklenburg County, Estelle Ransone of Matthews County and Lucy Boswell of Charlotte County were the friends who had left their mark on the college window. A group picture surfaced in which two of the three were present. It was certainly fortuitous that Longwood planned the renovations before the Great Ruffner Fire destroyed the building and that Grant saw the etchings and realized their historical and sentimental value.

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Group photo from 1887

Left

Window with etchings of names

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The idea that the students were not interested in a social life began to change in the 1890s, and Normal Light, the college’s first yearbook published in 1898, listed many social groups and clubs. The Tennis Club members were photographed in sporty attire and equipped with rackets. Next, came the Bicycle Club, featuring young ladies with shorter than usual dresses worn over knickerbockers, posing with their bicycles. The State Normal School boasted a German Club, and the students’ attire, formal ball gowns, reveals the members’ dedication to learning the latest dancing steps and frequently hosting cotillions. 3 The whole page dedicated to Ye Select Moonshiners of Ye Old Dominion shows that the students had a sense of humor and perhaps a hint of rebellion against the rules of ladylike behavior imposed on their generation. The playful nature of the 1898 Normal Light depicts students who were interested in an enjoyable social life while acquiring their education.

Student Life

Above

German Club 1898

Below

Ye Selecte Moonshiner of Ye Old Dominion, Normal Light 1898

Above

Tennis Club, 1898

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Bicycle Club, 1898

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Student Life

Secret campus societies also existed at that time such as the Mystic Three, created in 1897. Within the next decade, these societies’ numbers grew with the founding of RPCPP, which was symbolized by two skulls and crossed swords, the I.M.P.S., W.A.N.K., FANGS, DIRK, BLACK CATS and Mu Omega. The most well-known example of a secret organization was Chi, which was organized on October 15, 1900 and originally had fourteen members. These young ladies were very active on the college campus, according to the 1903

1913

1913

1898

IMPS 1909

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Mu Omega, 1913

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1913


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edition of the yearbook. Chi was referred to as a “sorority of sororities,” because Chi’s membership initially comprised members from the other three campus sororities: Kappa Delta, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Zeta Tau Alpha. After the formation of Alpha Sigma Alpha, two of its members were invited to join, and that was the only way to gain membership into Chi – by invitation. A sign of the importance of social life on the campus was the founding of sororities. By 1901, the school had given rise to four such organizations: Kappa Delta in 1897, Zeta Tau Alpha in 1898, Sigma Sigma Sigma in 1898 and Alpha Sigma Alpha in 1901. All of these organizations are currently present on campus, and a historical marker on High Street in front of the Rotunda provides information concerning the four national sororities whose roots can be traced to Longwood. The first of the college’s sororities began with four students. Kappa Delta’s website tells the story of its inception. “A chilly rain spattered against the windowpanes of the little dormitory room on Professional Hall, the dormitory floor where most of the seniors lived. Saturday meant no classes, and the dreary weather that hung over Farmville was a perfect excuse for the four friends to tuck

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themselves away in that cozy spot and talk for hours. . . . It was that afternoon that Kappa Delta was born, October 23, 1897, at the State Female Normal school in Farmville, Virginia.” 4 The founders of Kappa Delta were close friends but very different women. They ranged in age from 15 to 23. Lenora Ashmore was described as unconventional, an idealist and a dreamer. It was this young woman, “nicknamed Nora,” who first suggested forming the sorority on that dismal weekend in 1897. Another member of the founding group was Julia Gardiner Tyler, whose grandfather was former U.S. president John Tyler. In characterizing her, the terms capable and dependable were used. She evidently had some artistic skills, which she used in illustrating the first yearbook and designing the original Kappa Delta badge. Sara Turner, another of the founders, was the daughter of a Virginia senator and portrayed as gracious, friendly and a bit straight-laced. The oldest of the group was Mary Sommerville Sparks, and she quickly gained the respect of her peers. Her fine character and gentle understanding were assets to the sorority as it grew. Sometime before 1902, the sorority adopted the

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following statement of its objectives, which holds true today. “The Object of Kappa Delta Sorority is the formation and perpetuation of good fellowship, friendship, and sisterly love among its members; the encouragement of literature and education; the promotion of social interest; and the furtherance of charitable and benevolent purposes.”5

Kappa Delta, 1898

The second sorority founded on the State Female Normal School campus was Sigma Sigma Sigma. The original eight members were Margaret Lee Batten, Louise Marie Davis, Martha Trent Featherston, Isabella Merrick, Sallie Jackson Michie, Lelia Scott, Elizabeth Watkins and Lucy Wright. All were attending the college and studying to be teachers when they held the first meeting of their secret society. Then on April 20, 1898, they officially announced the founding of their sorority. The organization’s mission is stated as follows: Sigma Sigma Sigma exists to provide a lifelong sorority experience for women through ensuring a perpetual bond of friendship, developing a strong womanly character, and promoting high standards of ethical conduct.6

Student Life

Less than a year after the birth of the second sorority, a third came into being. On October 15, 1898, Zeta Tau Alpha was founded. Nine young women attending the teacher’s college created an organization that would perpetuate their friendships. Maud Jones was the first elected president of Zeta Tau Alpha. She also served as the business manager for the Normal Light, and later taught school in Virginia and North Carolina. Della Lewis was the only founder born outside Virginia. She matriculated at the age of 15, graduated in 1899 and immediately began her teaching career. Alice Bland Coleman was the first secretary of Zeta Tau Alpha. She graduated from Farmville State Normal School in 1901 and continued her education at Northwestern University. Mary Campbell Jones, known as “Cammie,” graduated from Farmvile State Normal School in 1902. Her gift of strawberries from an admirer led to them becoming the organizations official fruit. Alice Grey Walsh seemed to be somewhat of a free spirit. Little is known of her after leaving Farmville. Ethel Coleman was described by her fellow students as gracious, poised and considerate. She graduated in 1901 and taught school in Virginia and the Carolinas. Helen May Crawford had the reputation of being a good shot and an excellent horsewoman. She came from a long line of teachers, and after her mother’s death in 1902, she returned to her home in Orange County, Virginia, and kept house for her father and younger siblings while teaching in a rural one-room school. Frances Yancey Smith was the sorority’s first grand vice president and president of the YWCA. She graduated in 1901 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University. Ruby Leigh Orgain was a poet. She was the only one of the nine founders who had a daughter, and her child carried on the tradition of attending Longwood and becoming a Zeta.7

Sigma Sigma Sigma, 1898 Zeta Tau Alpha, 1899

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Student Life

Alpha Sigma Alpha, 1903

The last of the sororities founded at State Female Normal School was Alpha Sigma Alpha. In 1901, five students, who were very good friends, faced a dilemma. Virginia Lee Boyd, Juliette Jefferson Hundley, Calva Hamlet Watson, Louise Burks Cox and Mary Williamson Hundley all had been recruited by existing sororities. The problem was that different sororities had approached the close friends, and if they accepted the offers they would not be sorority sisters. So, on November 15, 1901, in a unique way, they solved their predicament by organizing a new sorority, which they named Alpha Sigma Alpha. Their charter stated the organization’s aim. “The purpose of the association shall be to cultivate friendship among its members, and in every way to create pure and elevating sentiments, to perform such deeds to mould such opinions as will tend to elevate and ennoble

womanhood in the world.” Another important aspect of the annual yearbooks is that they provide an easy way to track changes in culture and fashion. The first volume was published in 1898, and the dress was typical for young women across the United States. The bustles of the nineteenth century had lost favor; however, the narrow-waisted ladies in those photographs most certainly wore corsets. The shirtwaist, a dress with a bodice or waist that somewhat resembled a man’s shirt with a high collar, was quite popular on campus. Another aspect of the blouses and dresses of this era was fullness in front, which puffed into a “pigeon breast” shape. Young women were attired in long skirts, some with trains, in all of the yearbook pictures except for those in the tennis and bicycle clubs, who showed a limited concession to the demands of the sport. 8

Dress Style, 1899

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Dress Style, 1914

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Also, the young ladies’ images in this early period show a somber countenance. Faculty and students alike posed with serious expressions. Whether because of some cultural precedent such as the idea that smiling showed a frivolous nature or low character, or because posing for pictures often required that the subjects retain their poses for a lengthy period, smiling for photographs was uncommon in the late 1890s. Then in 1900, Kodak introduced the one-dollar

Student Life

Brownie camera and began an extensive ad campaign that showed picture taking as an easy way to record almost any event, from a formal occasion to a casual family picnic. Gradually in the very early 1900s, one begins to see smiles on the faces of college students in the yearbook, now titled the Virginian. The students even formed their own photography association, called the Kodak Club, at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Smiling Faces in the Glee Club, 1920

Serious Faces in the Sigma Sigma Sigma, 1899

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Kodak Club, 1908

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During the Frazer years, the tide began to turn from self-discipline to more defined behavioral guidelines for students. Frazer was upset by the lack of official rules and regulations to govern college students, and he expressed his concern in his first address to the assembly. During his brief administration, the student body grew and became much younger than in the Cunningham era, thus, making Frazer’s argument for a more tightly regulated student body understandable.9 The proliferation of sororities, literary societies, clubs and secret organizations, which began in 1897, shows that by the twentieth century, the ladies attending the normal school in Farmville had more than acquiring an education on their minds. They realized the value of being part of campus life and cultivating lifelong friendships. The 1898 yearbook, Normal Light, reveals that the students were not so quiet and docile as one might believe. The editors included a cartoon and list of regulations governing behavior in the library.

Li b r a ry

R u l e s

Normal Light, 1898 I. Never stop talking until the librarian has rapped six times II. Avoid paying all fines III. Never return a reference book before sent IV. Educational journals are never allowed to remain in order – by Juniors V. Never leave the library by the door when the windows are open VI. When consulting the Century Dictionary, don’t use more than ten volumes at a time. VII. None but teachers may talk aloud in the library VIII. On cold days, don’t camp on the registers for more than three consecutive periods. IX. When studying for a debate, hunt up all the references for the opposite side and hide them till after the debate. X. When a class of thirty are referred to two books, get out one of the books and ask your room-mate to get out the other.

Student Life

rooms was allowed after eleven o’clock each evening, when all lights were required to be turned off. The college’s young ladies were under no circumstances permitted to talk to boys through the window. To ensure that all incoming students were aware of the rules, they were presented with yearly handbooks. The numerous new rules not only applied to behavior on the college campus. Those enrolled at the normal school could not leave campus without permission from the Head of the Home, and to be caught in a car brought harsh penalties. Smoking was also taboo. The early twentieth-century handbooks were quite specific about the matter. A lengthy list of locations where smoking was prohibited included students’ rooms, the halls while walking, in Wade’s Drug Store in downtown Farmville and in Southside Drug Store. Drinking was also strictly forbidden, both on and off campus. Breaking these rules resulted in being brought before the Student Council, and unless the infractions were severe, the usual penalty was to “campus” the guilty party for two weeks. Only serious violators were “shipped” or sent home, and these cases were discussed with the school administrators before action was taken. Early yearbooks and entries in literary publications reveal that the young ladies did not always take the regulations seriously. Parodies of the many guidelines, such as the aforementioned “Library Rules” were popular in these publications. They poked fun at the policies governing dormitory life, library rules, and regulations concerning dress and personal comportment. This does not mean that the students ran wild or caused serious problems. Rarely did they openly flaunt convention, but it was becoming more evident that the students were young and fun-loving individuals. Yet another sign that some of the students were questioning the social norms of the day is revealed by the creation of the Anti-Matrimonial Mutual Tontine Benefit Association in 1906 with the motto, “Tis better to have loved and lost than to be married and bossed.”10

More rules came with the arrival of the twentieth century. Expected behavior was spelled out to the students. To miss a meal in the dining hall, one had to have permission from the Home Office. Making noise in the halls, rooms or bathrooms was strictly forbidden. Students were prohibited from walking across the lawn, breaking shrubbery, or throwing trash or water from the windows. No visiting in longwood university

Anti-Matrimonial Tontine Benefit Association, 1906

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By 1917, the number of organizations listed in the yearbook had dramatically increased. Under the heading of Literary Societies were listed the Argus Literary Society, Athenian Literary Society, Cunningham Literary Society, Jefferson Society, Pierian Literary Society and Ruffner Society. The school also had several new clubs. The Glee Club, Mandolin and Guitar Club, Spree Club and Pi Alpha were featured. Students from various locations within the state organized clubs that represented those who hailed from that specific area. The secret organizations also increased with the addition of B.E.A.N.S. and BOMO. In 1918, the faculty founded the first school honor society, Pi Kappa Omega, to encourage high standards of scholarship. The organization remained on campus until 1923, when it became part of Kappa Delta Pi, the national organization. A few years later, in 1925, Alpha Delta Rho, an honor society, was formed with a different focus. Its objective was to bring together each year a group of representative students and members of the faculty to foster a high ideal of leadership . . . and to help in the solution of college problems.11 In the early years of the twentieth century, the student body attended classes, often went to religious services at the various churches in Farmville, and participated in their clubs and other social activities. Then came the Great War. In 1915, before the United States entered the war, the Carnegie Peace Foundation requested that the college participate in a Peace Day. The college did so on May 17, and everyone on campus was expected to attend.12

Student Life

Much was made of what the students could do to help win the war on the home front. The school’s very active YWCA established the “Y Hut 80” for the soldiers at Camp Lee. The “Longwood ladies” spent quite a bit of time, effort and money to create a homey atmosphere for the troops. Due to the efforts of the young ladies, curtains covered the windows, pictures adorned the walls, and magazines and newspapers were provided for a reading room. The campuswide B.E.A.N.S., 1917 S t u d e n t s Fr i e n d s h i p War Fund collected $2,668.25. The American Red Cross collected $588, and patriotic-minded students purchased more than $1,200 worth of thrift stamps. Concern was not limited to military personnel, and the college’s young ladies collected $548.30 for the Armenian Relief Fund. Various organizations even adopted several French orphans. These activities were reported by Jarman, who was obviously very proud of the involvement and commitment of his students, and recorded in the Trustees Book.13

E n d n o t e s 1-Farmville Female College, Annual Register and Announcement of the Farmville Female College, Baltimore, 1859, 6. 2-Annual, 6. 3-Rosemary Sprague, Longwood College: A History, Richmond: William Byrd Press, 1989, 83. 4-Cynthia Allen Weston, Ordinary Miracles: 100 years of Kappa Delta Sorority, [United States]: Kappa Delta Sorority, 1997, 6. 5-Weston, 8. 6-Alpha Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma. n.d. http:// trisigmaalpha.weebly.com/history (accessed July 31, 2013). 7-Zeta Tau Alpha. n.d. http://www.zetatauaalpha.org (accessed July, 31, 2013). 8-Alpha Sigma Alpha. n.d. http:www.alphasigmaalpha.org/ aboutus/history (accessed July 31, 2013). 9-Richard Couture, unpublished manuscript, Longwood University Archives, 89. 10-Virginian, 1906, 136-37. 11-Jennie M. Tabb, Our Alma Mater, Bulletin of the State Teachers College, January, 1929, Vol.15, No. 2, Foreword. 12-Faculty Minute Book. No. 1, 101-102. 13-Board of Visitors Book, No. 2, 205.

Pi Kappa Omega, 1920

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Cotillion Club, 1936

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n the years following World War I, many changes came to the campus. Beginning in 1924, the school was called State Teachers College. Students began to expect more freedoms on campus, and, gradually, ideas about what was acceptable behavior began to reflect postWorld War I attitudes. A more modern attitude of socially acceptable decorum for young ladies was exemplified by the rules now allowing a college-sponsored function to continue

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past the normal “lights-out” time of eleven o’clock in the evening. The Cotillion Club held two dances a year, which were rather grand functions with attendance limited to two hundred members and their dates. In 1936, the Farmville 400 at the Spring Cotillion danced to music provided by Harry Reser and the Clicquot Club Eskimos. The dancing continued until midnight, an act that would have been unheard of a few years earlier. Times, they were changing.

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Above

Cotillion Club, 1936

The Ro ari ng Twenties, Turbulent thirties, and fabulous forties

Right

H20 Club, 1935

The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression resulted in new attitudes toward dress and acceptable behavior. Although there is little evidence of the college being overrun by “flappers,” publications of the period reveal a definite change in style. Hemlines rose, a more tailored look was favored by many young women on campus, and the Virginian and The Rotunda show a less formal and more relaxed student body. The H2O Club members even posed for a picture in their bathing suits. Women in the United States were becoming more liberated, and the college students at State Teachers College were following the national trend. Articles in The Rotunda reported on the new, short hairstyles students were adopting. In a fall issue, the headline read, “Must Bobbed Hair Grow?” The humorous comments revealed the popularity of the new and somewhat shocking hairdo. Last year a girl no sooner matriculated than whack! and off came her crowning glory. “Off with her hair” was the cry everywhere. And now just look. “We hope a grasshopper may kick our brains out if every new girl’s head doesn’t look like a pile of planings from the Student Building,” our reporter remarked when she had carried nine or ten girls up to their room the first day of school. Blonde curls! Black curls! Red curls!1

Above

Portsmouth Club with old-fashioned style, 1935

Left

Students in town, 1945

The fascination with the new coiffures continued into the next year, when the school newspaper evidently conducted a survey of hairstyles. The results were published under the title “Eighty More Bobbed Hairs than Long Hairs in College: Census Shows That Long Hair Is Fast Following the Dodo.” The results showed 345 students with bobbed hair and 263 with long hair, and the consensus seemed to be that long hair was old-fashioned.2 longwood university

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The transition to more modern ideas can readily be seen in the attitude toward cigarettes. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, the college had specifically forbidden students to smoke on campus and in town. By the early 1930s, The Rotunda included ads from local stores touting “Special to S.T.C. Students – Cigarettes 2 pkgs 25¢.” Major cigarette companies used the college newspaper to promote their products, and they did so using movie celebrities, beautiful women and sports stars. One article even alluded to the proper way for a young woman to hold a cigarette. 3 Despite the transition to a more modern society, those attending State Teachers College were still expected to act like ladies, and, for the most part, they did.

All hail, Alma Mater, dear Mother, to thee Thy daughters true, faithful, and loyal will be. Thy gentle instruction, thy nurturing care Will lead them to cherish things lovely and fair. Thy loving protection, thy influence so sweet, Will go with them always, a guide to their feet. All hail, Alma Mater, dear Mother, to thee Thy daughters true, faithful, and loyal will be. Thy halls and arcades, with their calm classic air, Thy campus with blossom perennially fair, Thy trees and thy fountain, thy vine covered walls, Will live in their memory whatever befalls. Though far from thy care and protection they roam They still hold thee dear as a well beloved home. All hail, Alma Mater, dear Mother, to thee Thy daughters true, faithful, and loyal will be.4 Changing attitudes of the time clearly can be seen in the trendy number some students adopted. In 1938, their unofficial school song was sung to the tune of the “Washington and Lee Swing” and had some rather risqué lyrics: I’m just a nun from dear ole STC There’s not a man in this damn nunnery When 10:00 rolls ‘round they shut the doors I don’t know what the hell I ever came here for. When Christmas holidays roll ‘round I’m gonna paint the town up and down, I’m gonna drink and smoke and pet and neck, Yes, by heck! To hell with STC.5

Chesterfield ad, The Rotunda, 1939

Soon, the nation would be involved in another devastating war. Until then, the students of STC continued to study and play. School spirit was always visible on campus. The “Alma Mater Song,” with music written by M. Virginia Potts, Class of 1927, and lyrics provided by Jennie Tabb, was adopted as the official tune, and many students sang these words:

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State Teachers College students had a serious as well as playful side. When war came to Europe, the campus was abuzz. In 1941, the Dramatic Club members showed their concern for a child affected by the destruction in Britain. For one year, they “adopted” Violet, a five-year-old girl whose family had sent her to live in the British countryside to avoid the dangers of heavy bombing in their native Bristol. The group members sent letters, birthday cards and Christmas boxes to their adopted godchild through the Save the Children organization. Interest and concern about the fighting in Europe went far beyond the Dramatic Club’s actions. Almost every edition of The Rotunda deals with some aspect of the war, even before the United States joined the Allies. In his unpublished manuscript, Richard Couture, associate professor emeritus of history, astutely observed the difference between STC students’ involvement during

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World War I and World War II. Jarman had been quite enthusiastic about student participation in support of the war effort during the First World War. He encouraged “his girls” to take part in specific activities in support of U.S. troops; however, during World War II, the young ladies of STC were interested in world affairs and found ways to participate through their own efforts.6 The entire college was behind the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1942. An article published in the February 1943 edition of the Alumnae Magazine underscores the students’ deep commitment to the war effort. Susie Moore, author of the piece, began with an eloquent explanation of the role that those attending STC would assume. “With our country at war, life at Farmville has

changed. We are aware of what is happening; aware that the conditions facing the world are grave; that we, as students facing life in a chaotic and perilous time, have a big job to do; that we must try to keep a reasonable amount of ‘things as they were’ but that we must help win the war and yet, more important, help win the peace after war.”7 Moore proceeded to outline exactly how each department and organization on campus intended to become involved and make a difference. The War Council was created to oversee the college’s activities concerning the war. Its executive board consisted of the presidents of the student body, YWCA and junior class, and chairman of the Campus League. They, in turn, created nine subordinate committees. Top

Students practice physical fitness to support the war effort, 1943

Far Left

Reading newspaper articles about the war, 1943

Left

Donating to the “War Chest”, 1943

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Almost everyone was doing his or her part, apparently. The YWCA sponsored bandage rolling every Wednesday night. The Athletic Association purchased a $750 war bond and organized more campus activities to entertain students on weekends since fewer were able to travel due to fuel shortages and rationing. Kappa Delta Pi worked with the War Council to provide programs open to all students that addressed war-related problems and the possibility of future difficulties when peace was achieved. Pi Gamma Mu sponsored a yearlong program of presentations and discussions on the new world order that would emerge following the end of hostilities. On a more practical side, Pi Gamma Mu participated in selling war stamps and making war-stamp corsages. Gamma Pi did its part by making posters advertising defense and war projects. Members painted the shuffleboard game used by the young soldiers at the recreational center. Alpha Kappa Gamma sponsored the event “Circus” and contributed the proceeds to be used for the maintenance of the Servicemen’s Center. The Dramatic Club bought a $1,500 war bond, gave money to the Red Cross to buy chairs for the Camp Pickett Infirmary and continued to send aid to Violet, the young British child its members had sponsored in 1941. The campus was teeming with activity. Some organizations more actively supported the war than others did, but the spirit of cooperation was evident all over campus. Moore even reported changes in the school’s curricula to meet the needs of the war. Every department, it seemed, had a plan. The geography department developed a new class called “Geography of the War,” and the home economics department found ways to address the problems that homes and families endured in times of conflict and postwar. The music department put the College Choir at the disposal of the commanding office at Camp Pickett because it was believed that music would help build the morale of those stationed at the base.8 Individual students also participated in activities designed to lift the spirits of the soldiers. Patriotism ran deeply in the sentiments of the young women attending STC.

STC students continued to support the military and American servicemen throughout the war. Though the initial excitement of being part of the war effort perhaps had waned somewhat, students and alumnae still remained involved. The 1944 Bulletin of State Teachers College included a list and pictures of STC alumnae who were serving in various branches of the U.S. military. Other college publications frequently referred to many activities that supported the military.9 Then the war came to an end and resulted in some significant changes for the students at STC.

Elsie Stossel Upchurch ’43

Mrs. Upchurch shared her memories of how she and fellow students were involved with and impacted by World War II. She recalled the college sending “Longwood Ladies” to Camp Pickett during the war years for dances with the soldiers stationed there. After classes, students hurried to hear the war news on the radio. Often Mrs. Upchurch and her friends discussed taking a more active part in the war by joining the WAVs or the WACs. Right

Pages 22 & 23 of 1944 Bulletin of STC

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One aspect of the State Teachers College remained the same for more than four decades. Jarman was president in the early years of the twentieth century, through World War I, the Great Depression and World War II. In 1902, when Jarman began his long administration, he used two terms to characterize appropriate behavior for his “girls”: cooperation and ladylike. Through the years, he often gave the following advice: “As long as you remember that you are ladies and act accordingly, you need no other rule by which to govern your conduct.” 10 He declared, “One of the most important words in the English language, to me, is cooperation.” Attitudes were changing, and although he maintained a close relationship with the student body, more detailed rules on ladylike behavior began to appear for Jarman’s “girls” during the last two decades of his presidency. Following the end of World War II and Jarman’s retirement, which went into effect June 30, 1946, campus life settled down into a somewhat altered routine. In September 1946, seventeen males were admitted as day students; thirteen of them were veterans. The Rotunda announced their arrival and mentioned that seven lady veterans had also matriculated that fall. The front page of the September 25, 1946 issue of The Rotunda was filled with stories noting the differences. One article announced, “Girls Rave, Boys Scramble as College becomes Co-ed,” while another lists the names of all the new male students. According to a separate front-page story in that same issue, chapel attendance was now voluntary.

applied to all students; others concerned seniors, juniors and sophomores collectively; and special rules existed only for freshmen. Of course, seniors did have some special perks. They were allowed to go to the drugstores later in the evening, except on Saturday and Sunday, provided they were on campus by half past ten and might go out of town for dinner if they returned by ten o’clock. The article emphasized that this privilege was intended only for seniors by adding the postscript, “No other students are allowed this privilege.”13 All students could dine out in Farmville, on certain nights, if they had signed up ahead of time and if the location where they planned to dine was on an approved list.14 The lists were long and rather detailed. The idea of young ladies not needing a lot of rules concerning their social behavior was in the past. It is evident in the school newspaper’s articles that the students of the 1940s and 1950s desired more freedom while on campus.

E n d n o t e s 1 - “Must Bobbed Hair Grow?” The Rotunda, October 27, 1923. 2 - “Eighty More Bobbed Hairs than Long Hairs in College,” The Rotunda, May 17, 1924. 3 - The Rotunda, Chesterfield Cigarette Advertisement, October 11, 1939. 4 - Tabb, Our Alma Mater, 18-19. 5 - “Looking Back at Ole S.T.C.,” The Rotunda, December 12, 1977. 6 - Couture, 163. 7 - Susie Moore, “War Defense and Work on Our Campus,” Alumnae Magazine, February 1943, 17. 8 - Moore, 18-21. 9 - Bulletin of State Teachers College: Alumnae Issue, December 1944, 18-19. 10 - Carrie Hunter Willis, “Tribute to Doctor Jarman,” The Colonnade, Vol. 8, No. 4, May 1946, 4. J. L. Jarman, “Co-operation,” The Colonnade, Vol. 8. No. 4, May 1946, 3. 11 - Helen Reiff, “Dr. Jarman – President, Friend,” The Colonnade, February, 1939, Vol. 1, No. 2, 35. 12 - “Dr. Dabney Lancaster Assumes Duties of College President,” The Rotunda, September 25, 1946. 13 - “Dean Smith, Council Clarify Some Rules For Girls’ Benefit,” The Rotunda, October 2, 1946. 14 - “More Social Rules Clarified by the Dean,” The Rotunda, October 9, 1946.

In September 1946, seventeen males were admitted as day students; thirteen of them were veterans. One of the major changes heralded in that edition was the top story of the day. The headline read, “Dr. Dabney Lancaster Assumes Duties of College President.” A new day was dawning for State Teachers College. Few people remembered when Jarman had not been at the helm of the college. He had led State Teachers College for forty-four years. He was an institution, and he loved the school and his “girls,” who often gave the well-known chant, “What’s the matter with Jarman? HE’S ALL RIGHT.”11 The reporters for the school’s newspaper portrayed Lancaster as a capable leader with positive plans for the college, but many must have wondered how a new president might affect their college experience.12 In fall 1946, the first few issues of The Rotunda contained signs that indicated how important rules at STC had become. An article, “Cut System Changes Announced in Chapel by New College Head,” gave details on how many classes students could miss each semester. The following two editions contained lists of student rules. Some regulations longwood university

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Students with Raymond French, 1956

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he administration still expected the students of Longwood College to act like ladies, but the forces of change were evident. In 1953, the infamous “panty raid” took place, in which about one hundred Hampden-Sydney College students gained entry into Longwood dormitories and raced through the halls and rooms snapping pictures and taking with them some articles of ladies’ intimate apparel. It was also reported that the young men involved used unbecoming language. President Lancaster and other members of the administration and faculty were not willing to laugh it off as an example of good fun or high-spirited behavior. Adding fuel to the already hot flames, an account of the event in the Tiger, the HampdenSydney newspaper, criticized Lancaster and referred to

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one Longwood hostess as the “madam of the house.” In response to that ill-advised newspaper article, the faculty of Longwood called a special meeting and voted to send a formal protest to Hampden-Sydney College. A copy was sent to Hampden-Sydney’s board of directors, the Virginia State Board of Education and the press. 1 If the faculty members at Longwood College wanted some sort of formal apology from the faculty at Hampden-Sydney College, they were sorely disappointed. Hampden-Sydney administrators acknowledged receipt of the Longwood letter, nothing more. Surprisingly, Longwood’s newspaper never mentioned the “panty-raid” incident, although the Farmville Herald did. After awhile, all the excitement died down.

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The 1950s and 1960s ushered in an era of social change. A more casual style of dress is seen in the pictures of everyday campus life. When perusing the yearbooks of the decade, one sees female students clad in sweaters, skirts, bobby socks and saddle oxfords. On many occasions, the Longwood ladies did abandon their relaxed style and dress more formally. Not only were students supposed to dress like ladies, but they were expected to act the part as well. Many memories of what was required of a Longwood lady and the experiences in the Blackwell Dining Hall have remained with Longwood’s alumni.

Betty Jean Russell McMurran ’64

The student body, before dinner, stood outside the huge double doors of the dining hall and sang, “Here we stand like birds in the wilderness, waiting to be fed.” We ate at assigned tables, and frequently, Dean Wilson, would rise to remind her “girls” to “place the napkin onto your lap and to keep one arm by your side . . . to break the biscuit or roll before buttering. Pat the butter on the bread, no smearing.” Proper manners were expected. We had to wear hats to church and no slacks on front campus.

could. Lunch and dinner at Longwood were served family style with I believe eight of us at a table, the same table for the entire year. We had linen napkins that did not get washed after every meal so we had to have napkin rings that denoted whose napkin was whose for the next few years. I had never seen a napkin ring in my life and I have no idea where I purchased the napkin ring. But I do remember the stack of linen napkins with rings that needed to be passed out at each table for each meal before the meal could begin.

Lynn Ellen McCutchen Thompson ’64 I was a senior when John Kennedy was assassinated. In the spring of 1964, Bobby and Ethel Kennedy came to Farmville to receive “pennies” from the children in Prince Edward County Schools. These were contributions toward the Kennedy Library. We were let out of classes early that day to see them drive down High Street on their way to the schools. Bobby’s car had a bubble top. I had on a red dress with white polka dots that my mother had made me and I was very tan. They came by waving. My roommate, suite mates and I jumped into a car and went out to a country road where we could again watch them drive by towards the schools. We stood on the road and waved, and Ethel, noticing my dress, said, “Well, there she is again.” Later we talked to both of them. Ethel had on a black sheath dress, no stockings and little black pumps, and she was tan, too. Bobby looked so sad; you could see it in his eyes.

Gail Golden ’68

We were referred to as “Longwood Ladies” then and Dean Wilson did her best to instruct us on how to achieve that title. In particular, I remember having to wear white gloves to Sunday luncheonand no slacks or pants at anytime unless it snowed so much that the announcement was made that we

Dining Hall, 1950s

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To enforce the ladylike behavior, many rules were needed. Regulations against sitting with males in parked cars or drinking alcohol within three miles of the Farmville town limits were enforced well into the 1960s. Girls living on campus still had to sign out when leaving and sign in upon their return. All students had to be in their dorms by eleven o’clock unless they had special permission from a college official. Bed checks were still mandatory for freshmen, and young male visitors who did not obey Longwood rules risked being blacklisted for specific periods of time or even receiving the ultimate penalty of being told to never return to the campus. If some of the rules seemed strange for young girls leaving their homes for the first time, just imagine how a young woman from a different continent with different social and cultural norms must have felt upon coming to Longwood’s campus.

Lucila Haase ’66

I came to Longwood with an International Institute of Education scholarship and I was the first foreign student from Argentina to be admitted and to have graduated from Longwood. My “Americanization” began with the warm, welcoming embrace of my roommate and suite-mates at Cox Hall on the “Spanish Floor.” Then they informed me excitedly that they would fix me up with a “blind” date for the upcoming weekend. Thinking that this must be some “good will tradition” of helping out a blind student, I didn’t dare question the arrangement. I was most surprised when upon meeting the young man in question, he tells me he is a football player. To which I shyly ask, “Can you see the ball well enough to follow it?” It didn’t end well either when I couldn’t understand why American football was called that, when the game was mostly played with hands! (as opposed to soccer). As part of my scholarship, I assisted the Foreign Language lab, where, because I was a native speaker, I recorded an entire set of Spanish tapes, and French ones as well. I remember the awestruck impression of being able to buy the course textbooks in the college bookstore. In Argentina, you had to read such books on reserve in the library. Our meals were served at round tables, properly set, with cutlery, and linen napkins. A workstudy student brought the food and it was served individually to each student. You were allowed admittance into the dining room only until the blessing. My favorite memories are the wonderful weekends I spent in the homes of fellow students and visiting neighboring colleges. The girls offered longwood university

me their families with a warmth and open heart, I have never forgotten. Each family invited me to join the religious services and I was always asked to speak about my country and its culture. We learned much from each other! Two professors changed my life by inspiring me to teach American literature. I have cherished the honor of having Dr. Sowder personally hand me my diploma. I hope I made him proud by teaching in high school and college and transmitting the love of literature to my children and grandchildren. Longwood administrators focused on the overall welfare of their students as well as provided them with a sound education. They realized that many of their students were leaving home for the first time and lacked worldly experience. Some students were not yet eighteen when they first arrived on campus. House mothers provided guidance and care for those living in their dorms. Faculty members were concerned about their students. Many former Longwood students still fondly remember their housemothers, teachers and staff.

Sandra Burnett Wagaman ’64

I remember that my parents took me to school on that first day and when they left, my father gave me a kiss and told me the best advice he could give me was to always “keep it in the middle of the road.” For some reason his words have always stayed with me and have been a huge part of my life’s philosophy.

Vicki Doss ’67

Move in day for the class of ’67 was Sept. 12, 1963. It was 85 degrees that day, ensuring that we would have a very warm welcome to Longwood and Third Floor Tabb! Most of the day was spent unloading, toting, unpacking and organizing. After bidding families good-bye, and having dinner, all the girls on our hall sat on the floor with our backs against the wall to meet our housemother, Mrs. Jones. She was a lovely lady who had been given a great deal of responsibility. She was very patient and very thorough in explaining all of the “thou shalt nots”! There was barely enough time after that session to meet everyone BEFORE LIGHTS OUT AT ELEVEN! That night I met many smart, fun, lovely girls with whom I had much in common. Of course we had been placed on that hall and with roommates according to the survey that we had taken based on our habits, likes, and dislikes!! Who knew that the results of that survey would help create a bond with 9 other young women that have remained friends for FIFTY YEARS! Still “fun, smart, and lovely”, I might add “wise” to that description! Marriage

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(or not!), children, careers, illness, challenges, we’ve weathered all. Wise counsel and advice, and plenty of handholding and tears have been involved. Times have been happy AND poignant. Longwood ladies had to adhere to the rules or face the consequences. Minor offenses, such as a sloppy room or being too noisy, resulted in a “call down,” and three “call downs” led to “campusing.” Then if violations continued after one was “campused,” the next step was “strict campusing.” Nobody wanted that because it meant no dates and no absences from campus. The only thing worse than “strict campusing” was “social probation,” which put students on notice that any further violations would result in expulsion. Of course, not all those students breaking rules were punished because they were often adept at avoiding being caught or covering their tracks.

Sometimes exceptions were made to campus rules. Curfews were still taken seriously in the late 1960s and 1970s; however, unusual circumstances deserved and received consideration.

Tulita Owen – ’70

As a freshman music major, I wanted to stay in Jarman late to practice. The back door to the Cunninghams was open until 11 p.m. My curfew was 10 p.m. So, many nights I’d slip back in through the open door. One night I got “caught.” Received a week’s restriction for that. Afterwards, got permission from Dean Brown to stay out until 11 p.m. Dean Brown referred to us as her “Longwood Ladies” and there were certain things expected of us. Her correction of our errant ways was always gentle and certain. Dean Brown was also a wonderful example and a great mentor to me and many other students. Longwood was a truly amazing school. From my now-ancient perspective, it was several things at once: a “finishing” school for young women from all strata and an extraordinarily fine educational institution, particularly for teachers. At that time, a Longwood graduate with a teaching certificate would be hired throughout the state.

Lynn Ellen McCutchen Thompson ’64 When I was a senior and living in South Cunningham during 1963-64, someone broke into my room early one Monday morning around 3:00 A.M. I felt someone touching my feet and whispering my name, but I did not see him. I yelled louder than the screams in a horror movie. My roommate sat straight up in bed, our suite mates came running, and we later heard that the girls on the hall jumped into each others beds and barred their doors when they heard my screams and someone running down the hallway. We were afraid it was a naughty friend from Hampden-Sydney College, so we carefully washed the handprints off the wall (he had run into the wall trying to escape from our room), but none of our friends at Hampden-Sydney knew a thing about it; we thought they were covering up for someone though we really had no idea who it was or why! When I went home for Thanksgiving that year, I was telling my family about it . . . thought I should. My sister started laughing and pulled me aside. Seems like it was her boyfriend. They were having problems so he thumbed all the way to Farmville to talk to me. (Remember, we had no private phones in our rooms or cell phones). He apparently knew in which dorm I lived, but before finding it, he got into the Science Building by mistake. Finally, he got into South [Cunningham], creeped past Mrs. Goodman’s room and somehow found my room on the 3rd floor . . . and the rest is history. He did tell me once that he could hear that scream all the way back to Roanoke.

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Kay Bolton Lucado ’73

I started Longwood in the fall of 1969. We had housemothers who stood guard over us. We had to sign in and out in the office. No boys were allowed anywhere close to our rooms. We had curfews every night. One of the girls on the hall was from Norfolk. She had never seen snow and was so happy when winter came. She played in it like a small child. We were not allowed to wear pants until after the first semester and even then not on front campus which was High Street. Often we wore raincoats downtown with only gowns or underwear under the coats.

Concern about the dress code on campus arose from time to time. The students thought that the restrictions on what they could wear were too stringent and old-fashioned, and the administration wanted to ensure that “Longwood ladies” presented a positive image both on and off campus. In 1970, an article in The Rotunda reveals the conflicting ideas and contains a copy of the newly revised dress code.

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Neat sports attire (Bermuda shorts, jeans, slacks, pantsuits, sweatshirts and gym suits) is allowed on campus and downtown with the following exceptions: Gym suits are not allowed downtown. 1. Cut-off jeans and cut-off sweatshirts are not allowed in the dining hall, classes or downtown. 2. Tee shirts are not allowed (with the exception of knits, polo shirts and those that have official insignias) in the dining hall, classes or downtown. 3 . W h e n l e a v i n g Fa r m v i l l e b y p u b l i c transportation, a student may not wear a gym suit, jeans, a tee shirt or a sweatshirt. 4. Sunday attire is required for Sunday noon dinner and special suppers. 5. Skirts or dresses are required for all assemblies except student-organized assemblies. (Red and White and Green and White parties, Geist skits, and song contests). 6. Shoes are required at all times in the following places: front campus, downtown, dining hall, classes, at all college activities and when leaving and returning to campus by public transportation, except for picnics, hikes and bicycle riding. After listing the penalties for breaking the rules, the dress code ended with the following admonishment. “Show the pride you have in your college and yourself by following these new dress code regulations.2 Evidence that the college’s new regulations for proper attire did not please all students became apparent soon after they were announced. The following fall, a Rotunda article attacked the dress code with some strong words and was in favor of the students being allowed to adopt and follow their own style and tastes. The article seemed to indicate that the idea of the “Longwood lady” was not as popular as it had been in previous decades, but the appellation was still applied to students while the college remained a single-sex institution; however, that status was soon to change. 3 “Longwood ladies” adapted well to the veterans who enrolled in classes after the conclusion of World War II, and the appearance of males on campus and attending classes soon lost its early “shock factor.” By 1971, Longwood not only offered classes to Hampden-Sydney students but also began admitting full-time male students. This new policy, approved by the Board of Visitors, came about partly because of the growing popularity of the state’s community colleges. With the board’s decision, four male students, living within commuting distance, enrolled and began to work toward their degrees. At the same time, fourteen Hampden-Sydney students were taking Longwood courses. This came about due to a cooperative policy agreed upon by both schools, which permitted students from both Longwood and HampdenSydney to use facilities on both campuses. This forerunner to Longwood becoming a coeducational school caused no longwood university

serious problems, and the “Longwood ladies” began to see more males on their campus.4 In 1975, the decision to become a coeducational institution was reported by Henry I. Willett Jr. The tone and content of the announcement indicated that the Board of Visitors made the decision with some degree of reluctance. The Department of Health, Education and Welfare had ruled that public colleges could not remain single-sex schools unless they had traditionally been all-female or allmale institutions. By accepting male students at the end of World War II and beyond, Longwood could not claim exemption to the new law.

Mary Beth Carey Schall ’79

It was August 1975 and I had just arrived for my freshman year at LC. I lived on the first floor Main Cunningham. This was the last year Longwood was all girls. As was the tradition, as soon as the last parent left, the Hampden-Sydney boys arrived to take up their seats on “the wall” around the Cunninghams. There they would rate and try to chat up the girls on their way in and out of the dorms. Not all of us took too kindly to this. I had just met Petey Gregg and we were on the top of South Cunningham discussing the whole situation when we decided to have a little fun. We raced over to Roses and bought a couple of bags of balloons. What started out as just two of us launching some water balloons down on the guys soon blossomed into a crowd of girls joining in. The H-S guys were taken totally by surprise. It became an incredible bonding experience for the freshman girls in the Cunninghams, and a major topic of discussion for the first H-S and Longwood mixer the next day. The guys were determined to find out who was responsible. No one ever squealed. Petey and I went on to serve on the Judicial Board, never discussing the event again.

So, in the year that our nation celebrated its bicentennial, Longwood was no longer a woman’s school. Students could no longer be referred to as “Longwood ladies.” The campus faced some challenges, when in 1976, the first sixty-seven male resident students moved into the first floor of Tabb and the second floor of Frazer.5 The number of male students grew over the next few years, and they were eventually housed in other dormitories as well. The change to a coed campus brought difficulties and challenges to many; however, to others the switch from a single-sex college was welcomed.

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Debbie Northern ’80

professors. The first was Dr. John Peale who taught Business Ethics. It was a small class and always filled up. In fact, we had a lottery to take his class and thank goodness I got into his class. His first statement to us after handing out his syllabus was, “Yes, I am Norman Vincent Peale’s son, but I am not a preacher. I do have a deep faith however.” His stories and examples have [stuck] with me to this day. He was a “Gem.” The other class was a Geology class taught by Dr. Ferguson. I needed the Geology class to satisfy my curriculum requirements even though I was a Business Administration major. His showing of a film that showed the eruption of Mt. St. Helene’s volcano that he shot from a private plane on the other side of the mountain was incredible. The electrical charges in the atmosphere generated by the eruption were so severe that it killed all electricity to the engine of the airplane and they free fell thousands of feet to a lower altitude in which the atmosphere was less charged with static electricity. His friend, another professor, finally got the plane started and pulled out of the free fall and returned to the airport. All of this was recorded on a beta recorder, prior to VHS. We heard and saw all of this on the film. I think the film was shown on PBS or National Geographic. It was absolutely terrifying but riveting to watch. I will never forget his class.

While waiting to get into the dining hall, there were often calls of “We need three” or some such number to get a table of 8. Since I came the first year that Longwood was co-ed, I soon learned to be the first to grab the bowls or plates of food because if I was at a table with lots of guys, I would have to wait until the servers could get more. I learned the song, “Here we sit like birds in the wilderness” waiting for d-hall to open.

Cindy Cooke Koehne ’87

I remember in 1983 when my parents were moving me into Curry. I had requested a single sex dorm. We were in the elevator and my dad looked to the right of him and to the left of him and there were boys who were obviously moving into Curry as well. He had a “constipated” look on his face the rest of the move in. In 1983 that was a lot for a daddy to handle. Of course I was not complaining! I had never had boys that close by before. I learned very quickly that I could not date more than one boy at a time especially from the same dorm without getting caught! That was a life lesson learned and I had fun learning it!

By the mid 1980s, males on campus did not seem unusual, and the young women attending, although still far outnumbering the men, took the presence of men on all parts of campus for granted. Just as before, males were admitted and began living on campus, friendships were forged, and memories were created. Now, the memories often included members of the opposite sex.

Dave Hooper ’00

I remember the old dining hall in Blackwell, affectionately known as “upstairs” (as in “are you eating upstairs or downstairs?”). It had such a warm feeling with the wood floors (if I’m not mistaken), round wood tables and balcony seating. Even more special were the Thanksgiving dinners in there where you were served (the student workers actually waited on your table!) a Thanksgiving feast to die for, including the famous Baked Alaska. Yum. I recall sitting in that d-hall for hours at a time, just talking with friends around a table. Good times.

Jenny Crossen ’94

Longwood is the place where I met one of my best friends, a guy named Chris Jones. I met him during Preview in the summer of 1990 and we ended up being really good pals during the whole four years I spent at Longwood. We are still good friends today. I remember living in the Colonnades and the Cunninghams, and I especially enjoyed the Colonnades during my freshman and sophomore years because my friends and I used to sneak into the Rotunda at night. I remember one time, all of the freshmen guys from first floor Tabb had an impromptu boxing match there.

Ed Taylor ’84

I was a commuting day student in 1983-1984. I graduated during summer 1984. Some of my fondest memories were from two of my favorite longwood university

Looking back at the last decade of the twentieth century reveals the magnitude of the changes that transpired since Longwood became a coeducational institution. An article titled “Cocktails, Condoms, and Beyond,” published in the March 25, 1996 edition of The Rotunda, provides convincing evidence that the Longwood campus was quite a different place from what it had been a generation earlier. The article reported on a program by the same name that was presented on campus and sponsored by SOAR (Student Organization for Alcoholic Responsibility) and the Panhellenic Council and Wellness Center.6 Similar articles reporting on the risk of AIDS and the dangers of alcohol frequently appeared

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in the school newspaper. In many ways, Longwood was responding to the needs of a rapidly changing society. By the last decade of the twentieth century, students’ increased interest in sports prompted more coverage of athletics in The Rotunda. Every issue included a sports section and often featured articles that introduced or spotlighted individual athletes. Early in the twentieth century, sports were reported on and seemed important to campus life; however, intramural sports and athletic games that pitted classes against one another were more prominent than contests with other schools. The color competitions, in which the red and whites battled against the green and whites evoked tremendous class pride. Both groups wanted to win the prized cup. On the eve of the twenty-first century, intercollegiate sports had become increasingly important. Not only did the nature of sports change on campus, but other innovations also were pervasive and not always welcome. Clinging onto the familiar and rejecting new ideas and concepts was evident when rumors of a possible name change for Longwood College emerged. Almost everyone on campus had an opinion. Some were vocal in their opposition of the change from a college to a university; however, the new designation was announced, and Longwood University became the official name of the school.

Christina Klienfelter Shelby ’05

Around exam time in ’02, I sat around outside North Cunningham and watched as then-Gov. Mark Warner proudly proclaimed Longwood as a University. Everyone I knew didn’t want it to become a university: we’d applied to attend Longwood College, not Longwood University. I was pretty sad about it myself, though I knew there wouldn’t be any huge differences outside the name change, and there weren’t: at least, not any that I personally saw. Everyone got used to it, though, and by the time we graduated, it was a moot point.

Longwood University continued to be a highly respected institution, and future students had no qualms about the name. They attended, learned and developed their own memories just as others had done, whether the school was called a seminary, normal school, college or university.

E n d n o t e s 1 - Virginia Bedford, G.W. Jeffers, J.W. Molnar, C.G.C. Moss and Beverly Ruffin to the Faculty of HampdenSydney College, An Open Letter, October 18, 1953, copy in Longwood University Archives. 2 - Anne Dyer, “Longwood Southern Belle Changes Concept of Fashion,” The Rotunda, February 25, 1970. 3 - Ethel Reiter, “Dress Code Violations Create Administration, Faculty Effect,” The Rotunda, October 21, 1970. 4 - Valerie Blanks, “Students Admitted from HampdenSydney and Area,” The Rotunda, December 6, 1971. 5 - Stephanie Riggsby, “When the Boys Came to Longwood,” The Rotunda, October 12, 2001.

6 - Heather Miller, “Cocktails and Condoms and Beyond,” The Rotunda, March 25, 1996.

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Traditions

Joan of Arc statue, 1915

S

ince the founding of Farmville Female Seminary in 1839, many customs have emerged. Over the years, as times changed, some of the early traditions faded away or transformed into more modern practices. Classes and clubs presented gifts to the school. Organizations sponsored dances and other events that became part of the fiber of Longwood’s tapestry of traditions. Sororities and secret organizations such as Chi and Princeps made their traditions part of the Longwood experience for many who attended. Beginning in the early twentieth century, graduating classes donated gifts to their alma mater. After the completion of the auditorium, the Class of 1904 presented longwood university

a Bible and reading stand for the stage. The following class continued the tradition by bestowing two statues: the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory. The Class of 1906 followed suit by giving more statuary depicting Urania and Minerva. In 1907, pictures of Aurora and the Dance of the Muses were presented as gifts. The presentation for the 1908 class was a statue of Diana Robing. This tradition continued annually, and in 1914, the elegant statue of Joan of Arc, which was created by Henri-Michel-Antoni Chapa and graces the Rotunda, was bestowed upon the college. This gift probably has had a greater and more lasting influence on those who have attended Longwood than any other gift.

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Joan of Arc in The Rotunda, 2013


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During the 1910s, the students of State Female Normal School chose Joan of Arc as the school’s “patron saint.” Maria Adams Bristow Starke, president of the Class of 1914, urged her classmates during her graduation speech to exemplify the spirit, courage and conviction of Joan of Arc and presented the plaster-cast statue of the saint. The effect of this statue was extensive. From the time it was placed in the Rotunda, the concept of Joan of Arc as the patron saint of the college grew even stronger. In 1927, the equestrian sculpture of Joan of Arc was given to the college in honor of the Joan Circle of the Alpha Delta Rho by the sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband, Archer Milton Huntington. In late 1926, members of the Joan Circle had written to Anna Hyatt Huntington and told her they hoped to raise enough money ($2,000) to buy the statue within three years. Joanie on the Pony, as she is affectionately called, is said to be the first equestrian monument of a woman by a woman. From 1927 until 2009, the statue stood in the Colonnades between French and Ruffner halls. Then, after being vandalized, it was carefully restored and placed in the Cole Gallery connecting Ruffner and Blackwell halls.

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Sp e c i a l O c c a s i o n s From the late 1890s, the college showed an interest in formal dances. The German Club, pictured in the Normal Light, the school’s first yearbook, was dedicated to keeping up with the latest dance steps.1 In a few years, the German Club was no longer mentioned; however, the Cotillion Club seemed to have taken its place. Its purpose was to “create and promote interest in the social aspect of college life.”2 The principal activity of the club was to host formal dances. In the early 1900s, the dances were semiannual, limited to 200 couples, comprising what was called the Farmville 400. In the 1930s, the dances lasted until midnight, and special accommodations were made to extend curfew for those attending the cotillion. By mid-century, dances were only held in the spring, but they still were exclusive events, and only club members or those presented with invitations could attend. 3 Above

Cotillion Club, 1937

Left

Spring Cotillion Club dance, 1935

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May Court, 1952

The May Day celebrations date back to the early years of the college, and participants included the students of the training school. A May queen and her court were elected, and activities centered about an annual theme, which included “A Mexican Fiesta, River Legend, and Russia, Yesterday and Today.”?4 A description of the May festival in 1921, which took place at the front entrance of the State Normal School, listed Lois Claud as queen of the May and stated that maids of honor attended her. The children of the training school, according to The Rotunda account, took the most active part in the festivities and performed the traditional maypole dance. May Day was usually held on the campus grounds for many years. Then in 1931, the celebration was moved to the New Amphitheatre at Longwood Estates before eventually moving back onto campus. The long tradition of celebrating May Day on campus ended in 1973 because exams would be scheduled during the traditional dates for the event in the following years. The festivities of the last official Longwood May Day celebration were described in detail in The Rotunda. Prospective students were invited to the event, which was sponsored by the Student Union. The presentation of the May queen and her court kicked off the ceremonies, and

students from the campus school performed the maypole dance. Later the H 2 O Club, along with the Corketts provided a water show. The one-act play “Home Free” capped off the day.5

Jean Appich, ’52

My junior or senior year May Day had a theme based on the history of the James River. Those of us in modern dance came down through the trees in shades of blue representing the James River and Cowpasture River, which emptied into the James and we ended up in a semi-circle around the flat grass. It had rained until two hours before the program was to start and Dr. Lancaster said the program must go on. There were two or three of us who were also in the May Court and, of course, we were a little muddy from being the rivers, but we left the river to wash off in a tub of water in the cabin and put on our formal dresses. A little bit of a comical situation. I do not think most spectators knew what had happened.

Left

Crowning the last May Queen, 1973

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May Queen, 1943

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Beginning in 1974, a new spring event began, which in many ways resembled the traditional May Day celebrations of the past. The Rotunda announced the crowning of the Spring Festival queen and referred to the event hosted on the last weekend of March as Mardi Gras. Descriptions of the 1973 Mardi Gras and the 1976 Spring Weekend with the theme American potpourri bear a close resemblance to the latterday May Day celebrations. They seemed somewhat like a May Day event held in late March or early April minus the maypole dance. Another memorable tradition was the annual Ring Dance sponsored by the junior class. The semiformal dance usually featured popular bands and gave students an opportunity to dress up and attend a fashionable event. The dance was the culmination of the ceremony in which junior class members received their college rings, which they had ordered in the previous spring. By the early 1980s, the tradition was suffering from low attendance, and it was no longer held soon thereafter.

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days were part of a larger class cup competition, but the field days were the marquee events. Field days developed into larger competitions based on more than athletics and sought to recognize the class with the most school spirit. Over time, these field days developed into color rush events that featured runners from each class vying to prove their class’s mettle. Color rush events started to incorporate skits, dances and other various outlets of expressing Longwood spirit. With the prominence of Circus and Oktoberfest during the fall schedule, color rush became a staple during the celebratory weekend. Color rush has become even more colorful in recent years. It is now primarily referred to as color wars and continues the festive tradition of competition among the classes of Longwood.

Peggy Agee ’74

I was a “Longwood Lady” from 1971-1974. I remember gathering with all the other students who were waiting for the doors of the dining hall (then located in Blackwell at the site of the current Blackwell Ballroom) to open at 6:00 p.m. for dinner. Both the lunchtime and evening meals were served family style which meant that all of us entered the dining hall at the same time, sat at round tables with white linen table cloths, and were served by student waitresses. While we waited in the Ruffner Foyer for the doors to open, singing would frequently erupt. The Greens (years ’73 and ’75) would sing their color song and other spirit songs and The Reds (years ’72 and ’74) would follow. Sometimes there would even be contests with faculty judges! The “team” showing the most spirit (and the loudest singing) would win!

Pam Carpenter ’81

It was November of 1980, my senior year and the same night the world found out “who shot JR” on the TV show “Dallas.” A group of my friends and myself all had dates. We ate dinner together at BSU (one of my friends and her date cooked). Later we all met at the dance after viewing the night’s episode of “Dallas” on TV. I remember my boyfriend said he was feeling sick. All I had was Pepto Bismal so he took it. Little did I know the real reason for his nerves. I think the band was called the “Kings of Swing” but I may be totally wrong. The dance was in the lower level of the dining hall. When the band took a break, my boyfriend and I wandered into the Rotunda. We sat near “Joanie” and suddenly he was on one knee with a ring in his hand asking me to marry him. I said yes and we hurried back to the dance to share our news. Someone in the group talked to a band member and when they returned to play they announced our engagement and played “As Time Goes By” (from the movie “Casablanca”) for us to dance to. We left the dance a short time later and went all over campus sharing the news with friends in various dorms.

Another early tradition that remains on campus, although it has gone through several changes, is color wars. Class competitions have always been important to Longwood students. Early sports teams were less inclined to play other schools but instead fostered a healthy atmosphere through intercollegiate basketball, swimming and field hockey contests. By the 1920s, an annual field day was established for the classes to showcase their abilities. Odd-numbered classes were represented by green and white, while evennumbered years were represented by red and white. These longwood university

Oktoberfest grew from the earlier college tradition of Circus. By 1927, the annual carnivals held on campus grew large enough to be considered a circus. These events brought together a festival atmosphere with skits, animals, music and circus food. The Circus of 1935 brought some changes to the event’s format with the addition of honorary positions such as ringmaster and animal trainer. The students even held “klown” tryouts for those seeking to entertain their peers during the event. By this time, the national leadership fraternity Alpha Kappa Gamma assumed control of the proceedings. Moving into the 1940s, the carnival started adding yearly themes based on Mardi Gras and the styles of past decades. The events were clearly successful and soon developed from a single day of festivities into a multiple-day affair. Usherettes from each class were added in 1950 as the structure of Circus evolved as well. A tradition that was quite popular for many years came at the close of the event, when a large cake was presented and served to those in attendance.

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Above

Circus Court, 1965

Left

Circus photos from The Virginian, 1937

In 1966, members of the Alpha Kappa Gamma fraternity formed a new campus organization named Geist. The purpose of Geist was to “recognize and encourage leadership, promote college loyalty, preserve ideals of service and scholarship.” “Geist” is German for imagination and spirit, tying it very closely to the ideals of Circus. This new organization assumed control of the yearly carnival and called it the “Geist Festival.” This name lasted only until 1968, when Geist decided on a theme based on the traditional German festival Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest’s German inspiration was present in the attire worn by many during the event. A “geistmeister” was named every year to lead the festivities as well as other “meisters” representing the other classes. The meisters and others were in charge of organizing and preparing skits, costumes and sets.6 Then in 1993, Geist became the Geist chapter of Mortar Board, a national honorary leadership, scholarship and service fraternity. While Mortar Board now sponsors Oktoberfest, its members have chosen to retain the original flavor of the fall festival.

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Spirit Leaders dancing in lederhosen, Oktoberfest 2013

Brandon Clemmons ‘11

As a member of Mortar Board in 2010-11, I had to wear lederhosen to my classes as part of spirit week. I’m sitting in Dr. Fergeson’s African American history class, minding my own business, when Dr. Coles walks in with some papers in his hand. I assume he’d come to deliver some sort of important news since he’s interrupting class. Instead, he proceeds to show everyone in the class pictures of Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler wearing lederhosen. Bear in mind that I’m the only person in the room wearing this attire. Luckily, Dr. Coles was my adviser, so I didn’t take too much offense to the joke. Just another day in the life of a history major at Longwood, I suppose.

After growing into a weekend-long affair, Oktoberfest became a fall staple on the Longwood campus. Just as names of the popular fall festivity changed, some activities were added, others were improved, and some were discontinued. Students in the twenty-first century revived specific Oktoberfest traditions that had been omitted in the more recent celebrations.

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Catherine Kelly ‘06

I was involved with Longwood Ambassadors and Mortar Board. I was the VP of Spirit and we were able to bring back several traditions, including the cakes. We also began the tradition that I believe still continues of hosting a bonfire with Dr. Jordan on the Sunday before Oktoberfest week begins.

Greek life is a very important aspect of Longwood’s history, with sororities having a place on campus since the last decade of the nineteenth century. The four sororities that were founded at the school, sometimes referred to as the “Farmville Four,” are all represented on campus in 2013. As the college grew, so did the numbers of sororities and fraternities. In 2013, Longwood University has three governing councils, which oversee more than twenty Greek organizations. The College Panhellenic Council serves as the governing body of the campus’ nine sororities: Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Zeta, Kappa Delta, Sigma Kappa, Sigma Sigma Sigma and Zeta Tau Alpha. The National Pan-Hellenic Council at Longwood University oversees the historically African-American Greek-lettered organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, Zeta Phi Beta sorority, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. The

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Inter-Fraternity Council provides leadership for the following fraternities: Alpha Sigma Phi, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Mu Delta, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Theta Chi. In addition, the Order of Omega is an honorary organization for men and women involved in a social Greek organization. Whether students directly participated in Longwood’s Greek community or just took part in events the organizations sponsored, most Longwood graduates were influenced by the brothers and sisters of the universities’ fraternities and sororities.

Alpha Sigma Alpha. Going through rush was a crazy experience. I was one of those members who wanted to join for all of the wrong reasons, but ended up getting so much more out of the experience. Originally, I joined to be able to go to parties, wear letters and a jumper, and to live in Stubbs. After becoming a member of ASA, I realized there was so much more to being in a sorority. I attended one of ASA’s Leadership Development Institutes the summer after being initiated, and was challenged for the first time to be a better person in all areas of my life. I know that my membership in ASA along with the education I received at Longwood shaped me into the person I am today. I often wonder how I would be different had I attended a different college or never joined a sorority.

Cathy Pascucci Haas ’96

Pledging Alpha Sigma Alpha – it was so special to be on a small campus that had given rise to FOUR national sororities. Receiving the engraved card inviting me to become a member of ASA was a thrilling moment. Even though Kappa Delta was our archrival, the girls were all friends, and we always did nice things for each other. For example, one Christmas we put little decorations on all of their mailboxes, and one year after Rush, they came up to sing and congratulate us. Jumpers were unique to Longwood – it was so cheesy, but it was also kind of cool that each sorority had its own jumpers. Normally we could accessorize however we wanted. But for formal rush meeting, we were required to wear a white blouse, black shoes, and our pin (and most often, pearls as well). It was so much fun to have sleepovers or just hang out in the chapter room. Many of those girls remain my very close friends. Sorority candlelights – it was so exciting when one of your sisters got lavaliered, pinned or engaged. A sign would go up in the student union, but no one knew who the lucky girl was until that night when she revealed herself during the candlelight. That was always followed by her getting thrown into the shower at Stubbs!

Sherry Gwaltney Esch ’02

Being Greek is something that never crossed my mind. Who would want to wear a jumper? I remember freshman year as the sororities would enter the dining hall staring in confusion and swearing I’d never wear a jumper. Sophomore year (1999) my roommate had the crazy idea to go through rush. Only to keep her company, I paid my $10 and began my introduction to each sorority. It was amazingly fun! At that time girls could receive bids from multiple sororities and I remember sitting there looking at two beautiful blue envelopes. The one I signed and returned made me a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. We all gathered in the student union wearing our jeans and a white t-shirt. Some girls had ribbons the color of their sorority and others of us just trembled with excitement as we awaited running to our new family. I was totally new to the whole Greek thing. I don’t think I had a clue what I was getting into until I heard my name called with the letters Alpha Delta Pi and I ran to the crowd of beautiful girls wearing dark blue t-shirts and jeans and welcoming me home. That is a hug, I will never, ever forget.

Melissa Sager-Trapini ’83

I was in one of the last pledge classes for Phi Mu and graduated in May 1983. I remember the weekend before Rush my senior year, sewing in the chapter room on those jumpers, because we decided to change styles and colors. It’s nice to see that tradition carried on even now. My daughter was Sigma Sigma Sigma (graduated May 2011) and she loved getting her jumper and wearing it around campus.

Sarah Farmer ’05

My favorite memory from Longwood was my bid day, spring 2002. I will never forget the excitement as I put on my white T-shirt to run to my new sisters. Little did I know those girls would become my best friends, my confidantes, and that years later we’d be each other’s bridesmaids. One of my favorite pictures is of a few of us moments after we ran towards our new chapter. I love our smiles; it perfectly captures how excited we were to be ZTAs.

Julie Wiley Levine ’93

In my sophomore year, 1989-90, I joined longwood university

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Chelsea Garvey ’12

Walking on Longwood’s campus that very first week of freshman year I remember a lot of things in front of all the other sororities (and fraternities) catching my eye. But, something significantly stood but once they called my name, “Chelsea Garvey, out to me; something I later learned was a part of Alpha Delta Pi!” I had all the confidence in the the Greek community, a Longwood tradition, but world. I ran across the field to a sea of blue and two more importantly a sorority highlight. On the same girls met me half way to put a T-shirt over my head. exact day of the week all of these girls would wear I was greeted with hugs, kisses, tears and laughter. different color dresses that looked like something This was my new home. you could sew in a fabric class. Some had buttons I received my jumper the day I got initiated and bows on them while others were just plain. and I could not have been happier. I learned Some were hemmed above the knee while others through my 3.5 years as a sister of Alpha Delta Pi hung down to the floor. I knew they all had to be at Longwood that my jumper was much more than a part of the same organization by the way they sat just a blue piece of fabric. It symbolized sisterhood, together in D-hall. I remember passing the cluster leadership, scholarship, unity, pride, friendship, of blue on my way to the sandwich station and pink family and home. I was so proud to wear my on my way to the salad bar. But no matter the color, jumper and show everyone which organization I something was unanimous among them all; I could was a member of. Alpha Delta Pi (in my opinion) not help but notice the pure joy and happiness that was the best organization with the most inspiring shined through each of the different colored fabric young women our campus had to offer. It came to they wore. For that whole first semester I did not no surprise to me that we were the first sorority ever understand why these girls got so excited to put on founded. My college experience at Longwood would a piece of material that looked like something my never had been the same without those 50 women twelve year old sister could sew. I didn’t understand with me every step of the way. I not only met my until the day I ran home. bridesmaids that will be in my future wedding but I Walk was another Longwood tradition I quickly met the women who have shaped me into the person became accustomed with. I decided to go through I am today. Alpha Delta Pi was and will always be my sorority recruitment spring semester my freshman home. I am blessed to say that I am a member of the year, I had to find out why these colored dresses founding sorority that carved the path for all of the made the sorority girls so happy. Recruitment was other sororities. In 1851, we invented the sorority a long and grueling experience which consisted of and in 2010 I became a lifelong member. standing in heels for hours on end, smiling so hard your face hurt, pretending you were not hungry CHI, founded on October 15, 1900, is the college’s when a sister asked you if you wanted a cookie and oldest secret organization. Its purpose is to provide and applying deodorant in the hallway maintain the spirit of cooperation every chance you got. How was I throughout every phase of college life. supposed to know Stubbs had no An early account of the founding of air conditioning? But all of those CHI was given by Raymond French, long nights in Stubbs, praying who taught chemistry at Longwood for that you got a bid somewhere, and more than three decades and was the changing your outfit 30 different organization’s faculty adviser for many times was completely worth it years. He repeated the following story come bid day. Opening my bid told to him by two of the founders of card that morning in the student CHI. “Back in the old days all lights union to see that Alpha Delta Pi in the rooms—even seniors—had to be wanted me to be a member of turned off by 11:00 p.m. Well, these their sisterhood was by far one of two ladies and a few more decided they CHI dropping found on a statue on campus the best days of my college career. wanted to socialize a bit more without Everyone who got a bid lined up and faced all of all the students on the hall being present—so they decided the sororities on the back of Iller Field. When they they would wait until later in the night and then go to one called your name and what sorority you received a of the designated rooms for a session. From these sessions, bid from, you ran to them. Walk was definitely one according to the ladies, CHI was born (a constitution drawn of the top five adrenaline rushes I have ever had to up, etc.).”7 The tradition grew, flourished and has become this day. I was so worried I was going to face plant of great importance to Longwood’s character. longwood university

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Signs of CHI are visible all over campus. The CHI rotunda is painted on sidewalks, and it is considered bad luck to step on one. Another tradition that lives on is leaving “droppings,” originally called CHI-kerchiefs around campus, which are meant to help promote the spirit of Longwood. These droppings can be ordinary objects, but finding one is a rare occurrence and is considered extremely lucky. If someone finds a CHI dropping, he or she usually passes it down to other students before leaving the college. The most important of the secret organization’s traditions is the CHI Walk. At night, the members of CHI, and membership is secret, walk at night robed in blue and white. Though the colors of the robes and the song changed, the walking and chanting have remained much the same Every spring, the CHI burning is held. At that time, special commendations are awarded to students, organizations, faculty and staff who made outstanding contributions to Longwood. It is at this event that the identity of the senior members is revealed.

Traditions

Sandra Burnett Wagaman ’64

One of my funniest memories happened very shortly after I arrived at Longwood. My freshman year I lived on second floor Ruffner and our room overlooked the Colonnade. My bed was beside the window. One night, I awoke to hear soft singing coming from somewhere. I remember opening my eyes and seeing “hooded” people walking towards Ruffner. All I could [think] was the KKK. That was my introduction to CHI!

Lauren Gabor ’11

It was probably about 11 p.m. the night before exams and a friend on my hall freshman year said she had a hunch that CHI would be leaving droppings that night. So three of us took a quick power nap and met in the hallway on the third floor of the South Hams. We started our “CHI hunt” in front of Joanie on the Pony (when she was outside) and made our way across campus, through the old tennis courts behind the saw dust mill, and up to the gymnasium without so much as a mislaid spoon on the ground. And then I saw it – a hot pink speck – resting in between the heads of our beloved two headed duck (which later had a Facebook campaign created to purchase the piece of art). I don’t even remember running to the duck, I just remember being there, in front of it, in awe. It was so perfect. Here I was with two great friends in front of a campus landmark having found my first CHI dropping, in my favorite color. Finding my first CHI dropping is a Longwood memory I will never forget.

Jean Appich ’52

My senior year there were three of us who were on CHI and we were physical education majors and close with Miss Iler, who was head of the department and one of the advisers for CHI. She suggested we WALK on the Colonnade the night we were going with her and Miss Brockenbrough to Richmond for a musical show. We would be back to meet the others and after we walked we would get in their car and return to senior dorm. Since everyone knew we were in Richmond they would not suspect us as being members. Of course, I always knew many classmates suspected my roommate, Marian Beckner Riggins, and I were members.

Misty Watkins ’10

My sophomore year, I was asked to be a helper at the CHI burning and received a CHI commendation. For me, that is probably the single greatest thing that happened to me at LU. A few days later, I saw my friend Luke (CHI 2010) in Ruffner, and he gave me a bottle of CHI ashes. I hugged him and started to cry. He told me that it wasn’t worth crying over, and I replied, “That’s easy for you to say! You’re in CHI!” But that moment when he gave me the ashes and I read the label telling me why they were given to me- that was when I realized just how much being a part of the Longwood community really meant to me. (And may I say- Go Red Class!!)

Gail Golden ’68

CHI was the most mystical concept/body that I had ever known when I came to Longwood as a very innocent 17-year-old. My room in the old Ruffner Building looked out onto the Colonnade and my bed was next to the window. So when word went around that “CHI is walking,” my room/ bed attracted many to remain quiet and respectful waiting for this event to take place.

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Alumni walk on the 100th birthday of CHI

CHI walk, photo printed in The Rotunda, 1987

CHI burning, photos from The Virginian, 1973

CHI burning, 2013

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In comparison to CHI, Princeps is a new secret society; however, its activities have created an important new tradition on campus. Students founded Princeps in 1992, to promote leadership and service on campus. Membership is secret, and the organization also follows the CHI tradition of leaving “droppings,” which are seen as good luck and reinforce the presence of Princeps on campus. A crown with seven points and the number seven symbolize the seven principles of leadership. The black crowns painted on sidewalks around campus remind all of their continued existence, and it is considered good luck to step on a Princep’s crown. The organization also recognizes Longwood students for their excellence in the classroom and as leaders of the campus community. Princeps presents recognized individuals with a riddle that will lead them to the location of their gift, a large wooden seven, which is usually retained by a faculty member. Longwood has always encouraged involvement in college activities and fostered a type of kinship among its students. In addition to the many fraternities and sororities, many other clubs provide students with opportunities to participate in meaningful and entertaining activities.

Traditions

decades of the opening of the State Normal School in 1884, a Granddaughter’s Club was formed, and two great granddaughters joined the club by 1928. Although the organization no longer exists on campus, many families continue the tradition and have special memories of Longwood and their strong connections.

Catherine Elaine Kelly ’06

My family has a small history at Longwood. My grandma, Rosemary Elam Pritchard was Class of 1944. My mother, Jane Pritchard Kelly was Class of 1975, and I, Catherine Elaine Kelly was Class of 2006. My grandma was from Prospect (Elam to be specific). She attended Longwood and returned to work there as the Dean of Women. All three of us went on to be teachers. My mother was in CHI and very involved in student government. She was involved in Circus/Oktoberfest with Geist/Mortarboard. I was involved with Longwood Ambassadors and Mortarboard.

Mamie Roberts Jones ’37

Jessamy Austin ’10

By the spring of my freshman year, I had found my niche that lasted until I graduated (and even past then). Joining Student Educators of Active Leadership (SEAL) was one of my best decisions of my life. The group of students that I met influenced me to be an even better person than I was. I made some of the strongest friendships because of it and I still keep in touch with a lot of them today. They each hold a place in my heart, and I am so proud of all the young student leaders that I was able to help influence, and who helped influence me.

Kendall Lee ’01

Perhaps the most important thing I remember, aside from the hard work and study, and other social and student organization activities, lies in the endearing relationships experienced at Longwood. These, to me, are the most precious. They helped form me as a person and appreciate the opportunities afforded me by the whole experience. The best memory was my time on the Student Educators for Active Leadership (SEAL) organization. Much thanks to all of the faculty and staff, especially Susan Monahan for leading SEAL, and all those who really cared for us and moved us to be successful and faithful in our life’s journey.

Longwood University is rich with traditions of all sorts. Many graduates and their families have made a tradition of attending Longwood. Within the first four longwood university

– contributed by her daughter, Margaret Ann Jones Elder Mama was the baby of the family and all of her sisters aren’t here to give you any stories from STC. My grandfather sold land off his farm all during the Depression to send his four daughters to STC. He wouldn’t send his sons because he said they could make a good living without a college education, but his girls needed to be able to make their own living without being dependent on a husband to do it for them. Chris Jones, Mamie’s grandson also graduated from Longwood College in the 1990s.

Jenny Crossen ’94

I am the fifth person in my family to attend Longwood and the fourth to graduate. My Aunt Jeanne graduated in 1948 with a degree in chemistry. She was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. My Aunt Doris graduated in 1960 and became a well-regarded math teacher at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia. My Aunt Nancy attended for a year or so, but then left to get married. She later earned her degree and was the registrar at Hollins and Virginia Military Institute for many years. My cousin Melissa Tolley graduated in 1989 and is now a teacher. I am a member of the Class of 1994, with a B.A. in English and minors in speech and communications.

Sarah Brogan ’11

My mother and I both attended Longwood! She

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was the Class of 1983 and I was the Class of 2011. Hearing her talk about Longwood and how it was a special place for her intrigued me enough to check it out and apply for the same day decision. I got in immediately and burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying. I knew Longwood was where I was meant to be; I didn’t even apply anywhere else. My mom lived on fifth floor Curry her freshman year, and where did I end up freshman year? Of course, fifth floor Curry in the suite right across the hall from where hers was! We have wonderful pictures in front of the same signs and, after color wars with our friends. We both still have wonderful friends from our time there. Hearing her stories and experiences and being able to walk around campus together are things I will never forget! Longwood was such a special place to me and mom separately, but it is also something we share too, and I am so grateful for that. I hope the family tradition can continue.

supposedly instrumental in the procurement of Longwood House for the college. My cousin, Brenda Beck, was a graduate of Longwood in the early ’70s. And there were several other cousins on my father’s side who attended and graduated throughout the middle of the century. (Sally Hill is one I recall for sure.) My uncle, Harry Hill Sandidge Jr. (son of Nellie Bristow Sandidge), served on the Board of Visitors as did my great aunt (Maria Starke). My father and mother, Forrest Brent and Jeanne Sandidge, served on the Parents Advisory Council for several years. Uncle Hill attended the campus school in the ’30s. Daddy served as an adjunct professor, supervising student teachers in Chesterfield Co. (and Henrico?) in the late ’80s, early ’90s. I was a member of Longwood Players, Alpha Psi Omega and served on Dorm Council and Honor Council. I was a Colleague and Orientation Leader and a photographer for a short while for the college newspaper. My great-grandparents, grandmother and one uncle are all buried in Westwood Cemetery. My family’s roots are deep in Farmville and we love it there. My dream is to someday own the family home on Second St. (The little yellow gingerbread house across from the old rugby field!) I even married a fellow from Farmville with whom I had two children. He was my college sweetheart, Rob Lane (1981 grad), and though we are no longer married we remain close friends. Dr. Charles Lane (Science Department head for awhile and professor of earth sciences) and his wife, Anna Ruth Lane, both lived in Farmville until their passing. Rob’s and my middle son, Taylor, attended Longwood for two years as well. We love Longwood and Farmville! Attending Longwood was some of the best years of my life and I still treasure the relationships I made there.

Margie Haynes Horvath ’70

I entered Longwood as a freshman in the fall of 1966 and lived in Main Cunningham. Main Cunningham actually was not a freshman dorm, but since the freshmen dorms were too full I and one other freshman were put there. I remember having a 10 p.m. curfew on weeknights and everyone else in MC had 11 p.m. curfews. And, we had bed checks as freshmen too. Miss Whitt was our housemother. I remember having room checks too if the room was not clean enough, you could be grounded for the weekend. Some of the rules seem very strict when one thinks of how things changed quickly over the years at Longwood. However, not as strict as when my mother, Marjorie McAlister Haynes, attended Farmville State Teachers College in 1938 and 1939. My mom got grounded for night riding with a male – even though the male was her cousin! Also, when Mom was there gentlemen callers presented their calling cards.

Lissa Sandidge Ballard ‘82

I graduated in 1982 with a degree in elementary education. My sister, Martha Sandidge Thwaites, graduated in 1984 with a degree in biology. My grandmother graduated in the early 1900s from the State Female Normal School (Nellie B. Sandidge nee Nellie Bristow) as did my great aunt, Maria B. Starke nee Maria Bristow pronounced Muh-rIa). My great-grandfather, Robert Carter Bristow, was the Bristow for whom the Bristow building was named as he was in charge of physical services at Longwood for a number of years and was longwood university

E n d n o t e s 1 - The college did not teach the German language at that time, and it appears that the name refers to a less wellknown meaning of the term German, which can also refer to an elaborate social dance similar to a cotillion. 2 - The Virginian, 1957, 112. 3 - Couture, 160. 4 - Jane Bloodworth, “May Day ’73” The End of a Tradition?” The Rotunda, May 2, 1973, 1. 5 - Jane Bloodworth, “May Day ’73” The End of a Tradition?” The Rotunda, 48, No. 25, May 2, 1973. 6 - The Rotunda, September 21, 1976. 7 - Susan Wooldridge, “All the Way from FANGS, to Chi, Longwood’s Had Its ‘Secret Societies,’” The Rotunda, December 5, 1973.

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Athletics

Skating Club, 1905

W

hen Farmville Female Seminary was chartered in 1839, young ladies were not thought of as athletes, and the school did not appear to provide any structured physical exercise activities or classes. The 1893-94 school catalogue included the following entry:

P hy s i c a l

Cu l t ur e

Each class is trained three times a week in groups of from twenty to fifty persons in bodily exercises. These exercises are not violent, but are intended to develop the body into grace and harmony, producing symmetrical growth and steady development of power. They tend to correct physical defects caused by the inaction of certain members, by bad digestion, or weak nerves. For these exercises students are required to provide themselves with a blouse waist or some style that will allow freedom of movement. The sleeves should easily permit the arms to be straightened, and hands clasped above the head; and the chest longwood university

measure should allow for expansion in breathing of at least four inches. The clothing should be suspended from the shoulders; the skirt being made as simple as taste will permit.1 The description of what physical exercise was suitable for young women mirrors the era’s concept of woman as the weaker sex, who should not overexert herself. The school maintained this point of view into the twentieth century, although one sees a gradual change after it began “maintaining a gymnasium,” and the inclusion of the Tennis Club and the Bicycle Club in the 1898 yearbook, The Normal Light.2 In 1911-12, the catalogue first mentioned the existence of the Athletic Association. By 1914, the school required all students except teaching seniors to have two hours per week of gym. By that time, according to the college catalogue, all students “must have a regulation suit for all practice work.” The suit consisted of an all-white middy blouse, full dark blue serge bloomers and low-cut gymnasium shoes,” which cost $2.50 and $1.35 respectively.3 Evidence began to point toward student involvement

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The Loving Cup, printed in The Rotunda 1921

in sports by the middle of the first decade of the twentieth century. The 1905 issues of the Virginian picture a Tennis Club, with many more members than in previous years, and a Skating Club.4 One section of the annual fell under the heading of “Athletics,” and had photographs as well as the record of wins and losses of the two basketball teams, the Reds and the Whites. An archery club was another sports addition on campus.5 In the next decade, although all evidence points to a proliferation of literary societies, involvement in sports continued, with two basketball teams and two tennis teams being included in the 1915 yearbook. The Athletic Club in 1919 created a loving cup to be presented to the class that scored the highest in athletics events during the year. In the early 1920s, the sports consisted of basketball, tennis, hiking and field-day activities.6 By 1925, in addition to the tennis and skating clubs, there was a varsity basketball team, and each class had its own basketball squad. A monogram club had been formed in 1922 with the following stated purposes: “to promote and encourage all forms of athletics in the Farmville State Teachers College; to work for good, clean intercollegiate rivalry; to broaden the field of intercollegiate sports and above all to stand for the highest degree of sportsmanship in all things.” A sign of the obvious growing interest in sports was the adoption of a team song titled “Hail the Farmville Team.”7 Articles reporting the outcome of basketball games between the seniors and juniors reveal the growing interest longwood university

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in competitive sports. An early edition of The Rotunda included a spirited description of one such contest. From the first reported game between the two upper-class teams through the remainder of the term, it seems the junior class had the superior players in 1921. In that same year, it is easily discernible that the nature of sports teams at the school was changing. The State Normal School in Farmville began to compete against other normal schools in the state. The first game was played on February 14, 1921 at Harrisonburg Normal School with the outcome of the game recounted in The Rotunda. The score was Harrisonburg 52 – Farmville 17. Putting a positive spin on the loss, the reporter wrote, “We experienced defeat in the basketball game with Harrisonburg on February 14. Nevertheless, we feel confident that our team put up a good fight and know that this defeat will only be an incentive for future improvement. Already we are looking forward with much expectation to the next game.”8 Perhaps, the student reporter was a bit too optimistic. A rematch between the Harrisonburg and Farmville basketball teams was held, and The Rotunda once again covered the game. Under the headline, “Biggest Game of the Season Played at the Armory,” one can grasp the importance of the occasion, which was billed as the second intercollegiate game the “sextette” had ever played, with the 52-17 debacle having been the first. “Virginia Gibbs and Harriet Munoz, the cheerleaders, did not stop a minute waving ribbons and getting the teams pepped up.” This was the first time that the State Normal School in Farmville had ever “entertained a basketball team from one of their sister schools.” Hosting another normal school team was in reality a monumental step into the sports arena, and it was done in style. The Harrisonburg team traveled to Farmville by train and arrived Thursday evening. The team members were housed in the infirmary. The student body treated the Harrisonburg basketball players to a dance in the gymnasium that same evening, and then the entertainment committee took them to a Devereux play. On Friday, the opposing team members were given a tour of campus and a ride before the contest. Following the actual basketball game, which Harrisonburg won (no score given), a reception was held for the visiting team at the science hall. On Saturday morning, the winning team boarded the train for its return journey.9 Involvement in sports continued to grow over the next decades. In 1921, Jarman made a statement in support of athletics in which he commented that sports held a prominent place in men’s colleges. He went on to say, “It is not only important but necessary that all teacher-training institutions emphasize this work, encouraging athletics as an important phase of their Department of Physical Education – every prospective teacher should not only know how to play all of the popular athletic sports but should be prepared to direct them as well.” The evolving ideas of acceptable behavior for the weaker sex were quite evident in this enthusiastic endorsement of athletics.

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Even the college physician became a firm advocate of athletics for the future teachers at the school. An article by Dr. Tidyman reveals that the administration’s somewhat sudden interest in sports and athletics might have been due to the state of Virginia requiring a physical education program in every school. According to Tidyman, an important part of the program was to encourage participation in athletics by promoting intra-school and inter-school contests. He encouraged each normal school student to “become a real leader and not a ‘dummy.’” To do this, he concluded that the teacher of a sport should not only learn the rules and regulations but be familiar enough with all aspects of the games so that she could coach boys and girls. Tidyman went even further by stating that “the teacher should cultivate and not simulate a real enthusiasm for athletics and out-door exercise.” He even provided the following medical rationale for becoming involved in athletics. “The student needs, and the teacher must have the healthful diversion in order to meet the heavy drain upon the nervous energy, and in order to maintain a sane wholesome spirit. Athletics and out-ofdoor activities are a tonic and a safety valve.”10 With all the state, college administration and medical endorsements, it is no wonder that sports began to boom at the school. As sports expanded at the State Normal School in Farmville, other schools were added to the list of basketball opponents. Some of the games in the 1920s were played against other normal schools as well as high school teams. By 1923, the varsity basketball team had its own cheer.

Rah! Rah! Farmville, Rah! Rah! Rah! For Farmville, Farmville, Rah! We’ll fight for Farmville glory Until our heads be hoary. All hail the Farmville team of S. N. S. The number of scheduled games increased, and in 1925, the opponents included an out-of-state team with the University of South Carolina. Intramural basketball games, which pitted teams representing seniors against juniors and sophomores against freshmen, remained quite popular and grew to include other sports. The 1927 Virginian featured pictures of each of the classes’ tennis teams, baseball teams and hockey teams. This was the first year a hockey team had existed, and plans were made for “inter-collegiate combat” in the upcoming year.11 In 1926, the Annex was built to provide rooms for sophomores. It ran from the new building to the White House and in 1934 would be renamed Tabb in honor of longwood university

Athletics

Jennie Tabb, who had been employed by the college for three decades. In addition, the Annex provided lockers and showers for the gymnasium.12 A new dining hall replaced the one destroyed by the 1923 fire, and it had a seating capacity of one thousand. The lovely Colonnade was added at the same time to connect the East Wing and the Student Building.13 Interest in sports continued into the following decades. The Farmville basketball squad, as the students called their college team, went undefeated in 1936, 1937 and 1938. The squad played schools in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. Archery grew in popularity, and more Longwood ladies wore their white sweaters with a blue STC monogram. The Athletic Association was important on campus and was officially made up of each student on campus. In 1939, it introduced a new program called Play Night, which featured Ping-Pong, bridge, badminton and other indoor games. Golf and archery were available for those more interested in outdoor activities.14 Sports retained their popularity even in the midst of World War II. In 1943, the Athletic Council became involved with the Physical Fitness Committee of the War Council and endorsed student discussions. They sponsored events pitting the junior and senior classes against each other and presented war stamps as prizes. In the days of gas rationing, the Athletic Association found ways to keep students entertained on weekends. The H2O Club was responsible for weekend activities at the pool and sponsored an interclass swimming meet as part of the competition for the Color Cup. Teams could not travel, but that did not halt competition. An intercollegiate telegraphic meet took place in which swimmers from the H2O Club swam in Farmville and transmitted their scores to be compared with other participants’ scores. Then, they waited for the results to be telegraphed to them.15 The varsity basketball team only played one game that season, but the war and rationing soon came to an end, and regular competitions resumed. In 1948, the Athletic Association, in addition to all of its regular activities, participated in the creation of a State Athletic Federation of College Women. The college’s varsity basketball team once again had the chance to travel, including going to New York, where it played four games. The class sports competitions remained popular, with volleyball, basketball, golf, tennis and archery matches being played on campus.16 By the middle of the twentieth century, sports were securely ensconced in Longwood tradition. In 1950, the H 2O Club presented its annual water performance for which the members prepared for months, participated in telegraphic and class meets, and offered life-saving courses through the Red Cross.

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H2O Club, 1950

Anonymous – Class of ’53

By 1950, the desire to win the Color Cup for one’s class still ran high. Individual seniors who excelled in sports also received recognition. The white blazer was given to reward outstanding participation in several sports, and the blue blazer was presented to one who had participated in one or two sports. Quite a remarkable change in the nature of sports manifested in 1950, when men’s basketball and tennis teams were formed. The team name was the Longwood Pioneers, and the athletes wore uniforms in blue and white as they played games with other state colleges. The Virginian reported, “This first step toward organized men’s athletic teams of Longwood opens the door to an expanding and successful future.”17

Although I had a contemporary (for 1950) aqua bathing suit similar in style to the one for the synchronized swim team, we were still required to use the WOOLEN aqua tank suits from the 1930’s classes for swim meets. Naturally, everyone rushed to get the suit with the fewest moth holes. On one occasion, I was delayed in my choice and, although small in “dry” size, the two tiny holes stretched when wet . . . right at the area affected by breathing in. … As we emerged for our coordinated swim session, I saw a row or two of Hampden-Sydney guys who had evidently seen the show before. All of the submerged exercises went well. Kicks were high and well executed. As my suit became wet, I would try to get the holes below their chosen spots. I managed all of the different actions and positions until the very last … where we were to crisscross the pool, holding a lit candle in one side and do the sidestroke with the other. Needless to say, I nearly drowned before reaching the end … but, miracle of miracles, my candle stayed lit! Now, every time I see ducks gliding so gracefully across the water, I can readily relate and know they are kicking like mad underneath! That was one of the many lessons learned from Longwood. All is not always as smooth and carefree as it appears, and sometimes you have to work very hard to learn new ways to accomplish goals … AND YOU DO! Men’s Basketball team, 1950

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In 1970, the Athletic Association developed a new system of intramural competition. Contests among teams representing dorms and sororities resulted in the awarding of trophies for the winners. The aim of this increased emphasis on intramural sports was to encourage more student participation. Intercollegiate sports had also grown from 1950 to 1970. Longwood had hockey, gymnastic, fencing, golf, lacrosse, archery and tennis teams. Longwood’s gymnastic team was not very large, and in its early years, its members had an almost family-like relationship. Although the team was small, it amassed some impressive records after the first few years.

Kathryn Noftzger ’83

I believe my first year at Longwood was Coach Ruth Budd’s second year. It was the 1978-79 season. I came to Longwood not knowing a soul. When I tried out for a scholarship the year before, I fell in love with the campus, the quaintness of French Gym and the dorms, especially the Cunninghams. I actually requested to live in Main Cunningham when I filled out my roommate survey. My freshman year, there were only six of us on the whole team. Debbie Kinzel and Kim Furby were the two veterans. The four freshmen were D’Andrea Sweatman, Jean Powers, Anne Miles and myself. Apparently, I was Coach Budd’s first scholarship gymnast. I remember how I loved the meets in French Gym. Loved the balcony that surrounded the gymnasium where spectators watched from. I loved the intimacy the faculty had. For the first home meet, the facility was probably half full. But, by the final home meet of the season, there was standing

Athletics

room only! Also, I remember Dr. Judy Johnson and Carolyn Hodges sitting with my parents up in that balcony. In addition, a lot of faculty members and their children attended the meets! It was great to have not only the support of fellow students, but from the faculty and their families, and the administration and community as well. From 1972 through 1982, women’s athletics at Longwood were governed by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIA Division II). By 1972, the college had the following teams: basketball, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse and tennis. In 1974, a volleyball team was added; two years later, Longwood had an equestrian team; and by 1981, the softball team rounded out the list of women’s intercollegiate sports. After Longwood became a coeducational school in 1976, men’s athletics fell under the authority of the National Collegiate Athletics Association. The school fielded a basketball team in the 1976-77 season, and added baseball, golf and soccer in 1977-78. The wrestling team was organized in 1978-79. The following year, men’s athletics moved from the NCAA Division III to NCAA Division II. While members of that division, athletics added tennis in 1980-81 and cross country in 2001. That same year, it dropped wrestling. Women’s athletics, starting in 1982 and continuing until 2004, was governed by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA Division II). The equestrian team and gymnastics were dropped in 1992. Soccer was added in 1994, and cross country was added in 2001. Then in 2002, Longwood began the process of moving to NCAA Division I. After completing requirements for NCAA membership, all Longwood teams except field hockey are governed by the NCAA Division I. In 2012, Longwood University became a member of the Big South Conference.

Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2005

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Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2007

Longwood’s sports program boasts a number of professional athletes. Jerome Kersey played professional basketball, Michael Tucker had a solid career in Major League Baseball, and Tina Barrett golfed in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. On November 27, 2005, Longwood University held an induction ceremony for its inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame Class. Those athletes included were Jerome Kersey ’84, a two-time men’s basketball All-American and seventeenseason veteran of the NBA; Tina Barrett ’88, a fourtime women’s golf All-American and Honda-Broderick Award winner who played two decades on the LPGA tour; Michael Tucker ’93, a two-time baseball All-American and U.S. Olympian (1982) who played twelve years in the major leagues, and Julie Dayton ’81, a two-time women’s

Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2009

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lacrosse All-American, former ten-year member of the U.S. National Team. In 2007, three Longwood athletes were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. David Hale ’91 was recognized for his achievements in baseball, and Charlaine Coetzee ’95, was perhaps the most honored student-athlete in the school’s history. She was the first female student-athlete from a Virginia college to earn Today’s Top Eight Award, the highest honor the NCAA presents. She won many additional honors, and she was a four-time All American and led the Lancers to NGCA National Championships in 1993 and 1995. Kevin Jefferson ’90, basketball standout, was the alltime leading scorer with 1,806 points. He was Longwood’s MVP in 1990. Individual athletes inducted into the Class of 2009 were Kathryn Idelson Noftzger ’82, a gymnast and the first AllAmerican at any sport at Longwood, Ray Jones ’90, a twotime All-American in men’s soccer, and Sue Rama ’78, the 1976 Virginia College Player of the Year in women’s basketball. The Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2011 inducted Darryl Case ’84, the school’s only four-time All-American in soccer, and Claire Reyes Williams ’01, a two-time AllAmerican in field hockey and the 2001 NCAA Woman of the Year. Not only individual athletes were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Elizabeth Berger Jackson, Barbara Smith, and Olive T. Iler were honored for their contributions to athletics. Similarly, the 1987 and 1988 women’s golf team and the 1991 baseball team, along with their coaches, were recognized.

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Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2011

E n d n o t e s 1 Catalogue of the State Female Normal School at Farmville, Virginia, 1894, 33. 2 Catalogue of the State Female Normal School at Farmville, Virginia, 1914, 82. 3 Catalogue of the State Female Normal School at Farmville, Virginia, 1914, 82. 4 State Female Normal School, The Virginian, vol.1905, 125-6. 5 State Female Normal School, The Virginian, vol.1905, 136-9. 6 “The Athletic Cup,” The Rotunda, October 13, 1921. 7 State Female Normal School, The Virginian, vol.1925, 238-246. 8 “Harrisonburg Wins 52-17,” The Rotunda, February 15, 1921.

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9 “Biggest Game of the Season Played at the Armory,” The Rotunda, March 18, 1921. 10 “Athletics Valuable to the Teacher,” The Rotunda, October 13, 1921. 11 The Virginian, 1927, 210, 216, 217, 218. 12 Board of Visitors Minutes, Book 2, 428. 13 Board of Visitors Minutes, Book 2, 429. 14 The Virginian, 1939, 108. 15 The Virginian, 1943, 171. 16 The Virginian, 1948, 128-9. 17 The Virginian, 1950, 111.

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ducating young people has been the goal of this institution for 175 years. That purpose has remained constant from the birth of Farmville Seminary in 1839. Changes in administration and the institution’s name, the addition of educational programs, campus expansion and the decision to go co-ed did not alter Longwood’s dedication to providing its students with a quality education. Many students gained much more than

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a degree from their years at Longwood. They made friends, participated in an array of activities and created valuable memories. Sharing these memories make them even more precious and can awaken long-forgotten experiences. A trip down “Memory Lane” can be a most pleasant journey, and perhaps these shared reminisces will prompt readers of this history to reflect on their own college experiences.

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April Brewster Burkhammer ’01

I have so many great memories from my time at Longwood. I met many of my best friends in Curry. Curry 6, we were called. My freshman hall was like family. We went to eat together, partied together, studied together. It was fabulous. I look back at Longwood and smile. I will never forget eating at Pinos or Macadoos. Things in Farmville were quite different than they are now. Those were the only two places really to eat besides fast food! I loved that my professors knew me. I was taught not only the skills needed to become a great teacher but also life skills and the importance of giving back. For this I am forever grateful. It is hard to believe Longwood is 175 and still so strong. I hope that maybe one day I will be able to send my daughter to Longwood. Thanks for the great memories!

Joe Brown ’11

Although I have many college memories, one I remember the most pertains to Brock Commons during the mornings on the way to class. Often times after eating breakfast in the dining hall, I would skate my way slowly down Brock Commons, coffee in hand, enjoying the beauty of the trees hanging over Brock Commons while waving to fellow classmates and professors walking by. A sense of how beautiful our campus was always seemed to come over me. Although it’s hard to describe that feeling, I think that is what ultimately helped me appreciate the spirit of Longwood so much.

Larry Robertson ’90

The Rotunda served as the campus living room, and it was where so many of my best experiences took place. Phyllis Mable’s laugh always filled the air, and it was the place to see all of my friends. Joanie on the Stonie was my friend’s daily meeting place prior to meals, and it was where we shared news regarding passing the tough history exam, becoming a Resident Assistant, or Orientation Leader, or talking about the news for the day. I will never forget the feeling I had walking into that building. It was the same feeling I had when I walked into my childhood home. It is that feeling that will always be Longwood to me.

Students on Brock Commons

Julie Francis ’80

We had 100 males. I was the first class to have them. White table cloths, once a month birthday celebrations with steak and Baked Alaska!!! Red Lion Inn – Oh we had fun there. Never had a car – walked everywhere. Wore khakis and alligator shirts. Hampden-Sydney festivities – learned how to bop, shag, and the boys would gator. Overall good experiences – even placed me in my first teaching job. I had the pleasure of teaching for almost 30 years and I owe it all to Longwood.

Students on campus, 1990

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late March or early April we girls were lying on black tar paper on the roof of Ruffner getting a head start on the tanning when there were no tanning salons or artificial tanning agents — and obviously when we had little good sense. One Saturday after having been on the roof for a good amount of the day (me with my very white Irish skin) there was a REQUIRED performance in the auditorium — and we did not skip required programs. To go there, it was necessary to put on a dress and hose (before pantyhose so for me it meant a girdle to hold up the hose). This was torturous, since I had sustained probably one of the worst sunburns I had ever had on the back of my legs and back. There I sat through this whole program in intense pain from the sunburn — and too scared or proud to get up and leave. 

Sharon Highland ’88

During Spring Weekend, my roommates and I made it to the Rotunda for a much needed brunch after a night of foolishness. We sat near the Delta fraternity … wrong choice. As we were eating, we saw something go through the air. It was on … a major food fight between the Delta and some other fraternity. I remember that we all go under the table and Sandy looked under at us and laughed as she saw us hunkered under with one of the girls still eating!!!!!!!!! WE LOVE TINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good times at a great COLLEGE….:)

Tina Hawley ‘09

During my years at Longwood University, I had the honor and privilege of being part of the International Student Organization which paired American students with International students studying abroad at Longwood. I am grateful that this organization existed because it afforded students like myself who could not afford to study abroad the opportunity to still experience the world while at Longwood. During my three years participating in the program I had the privilege of meeting some of the most incredible people. Young women with dreams, goals, and interests similar to my own; we may not have come from the same country or even the same hemisphere but it opened my eyes to just how similar women across the globe truly are. We shared so many wonderful memories together—many of them would share their favorite candy from home, we would talk and share photos about our respective families and friends, and we’d share cultural traditions and customs. It was truly one of the greatest experiences of my life! I’m pleased to say I have kept in ongoing contact with the majority of my international friends and even paid one very special friend a visit to her home country in 2011. Thus, I can say without hesitation that my fondest memor[ies] during my years at Longwood were the global friendships I was able to develop. 

Betty McMurran, ’64

Mrs. Duggar’s Tea Room was a treat … toad in the hole, spoonbread, her famous rolls. We saved money to go to her lunch once a week. Fireside chats … a professor would meet interested students to discuss topical issues before a roaring fire. Circus, Top Rat week, daisy chain at graduation … all almost passé … hard to fathom, but I loved it all!

Julie Francis ’80

I do remember when Skip Castro used to play for us, Harry Chapan (sic), and I remember when Elizabeth Taylor came to visit and spoke to us. Also Ms. Bishop took the art majors to screening of “Pumping Iron,” the movie with Arnold Swarzeneger (sic) before he was a star. 

Jenny Tolley Crossen ’94

After I graduated from Longwood, I decided to join the Peace Corps. I taught English to kids in the Republic of Armenia and the English department at Longwood was kind enough to send me two big boxes of textbooks for my school. While I was abroad, I corresponded with Dr. Stinson a lot and he genuinely seemed to enjoy my stories. I used the musical talents I discovered at Longwood to reach my students. A lot of times, the only way I could get the young ones to listen was to sing to them in English. That musical talent was also helpful in helping me connect with Armenia’s very artistic people.     While I was in Armenia, I remember Dr. Patricia Cormier’s letter to alumnae wanting to know how we felt about Longwood becoming a university. I wrote back to her and she sent me a lovely letter encouraging me to come back and teach at

Gail Golden ‘68

Speaking of A/C and sitting in my cool house while the heat index outside is 105, I wonder how we made it through those days and nights on the third floor of Ruffner during hot weather with only a fan to help. Thankfully those nearly floor to ceiling windows opened wide. But with the hot weather came the opportunity to sun bathe on the roof. By longwood university

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Longwood someday. I remember waiting tables at a restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia and running into Phyllis Mable. I told her I was a Longwood graduate and she actually took the time to look me up. She sent me a handwritten note wishing me luck, since I had told her I was headed to graduate school in the fall. I was so impressed that she did that and when I told my husband about it, he was amazed. He is a graduate of American University, which has a bigger reputation and more prestige (along with a much higher tuition), but not nearly the personal touch that Longwood has.

a student there. One of my favorite parts of Girls State was going to Jarman and hearing the real governor, Mark Warner, speak about future leaders. As soon as I could, I applied to Longwood and was very excited when I was accepted. I even applied for the New Student Leadership Program so I could head to school early and get a jump start on my time at Longwood. I moved into Cox in the fall of 2003. I was so excited to move in early because I had been accepted to the New Student Leadership Program. We went to a camp where there were several days of team building activities, icebreakers, and leadership activities. I was very excited about getting back to school already knowing several people.  I am so proud of the growth of my alma mater and its 175 year history. To me, Longwood is love. Longwood is where I met my best friends and my husband. Longwood is where my career began. And Longwood always feels like home. I look forward to every visit to Longwood and am excited every time I hear a story about all the great things Longwood has done and will do. 

Catherine Haas ’96

Some of my favorite memories are: Birthday dinners! The dining hall ladies were so sweet — if your mom sent them your favorite recipe, they would try to recreate it on a large scale. Thanksgiving dinner was also fun — getting “dressed” for dinner, the Baked Alaska, and having to serve dinner when we pledged sororities. The tea room -- that was such a treasure. For $5, you could have a special meal right there on campus, and the chocolate silk pie was divine. Phyllis Mable! She was a Longwood institution. We called her “Auntie Phyllis” or “The Ringbearer” because of her jewelry. There was no problem she couldn’t solve. Anytime you had any sort of accomplishment, you were sure to get a personal note from Phyllis, usually with some sort of inspiration such as “Let success set sail on the winds of your dreams.” I am not making that up. Tina Baby — probably everyone has talked about her, but she really was a Longwood treasure. If you forgot your ID, you could always sweet talk her into letting you in, although every time she swore that THIS was the LAST time.  The relationships we had with our professors — I was very close to Dr. Harbour and Dr. Calihan, as well as Dr. LaPrade in the English department. Nearly 20 years later, I am still in regular contact with all of them. I go back to Longwood every other year to do a career panel with Dr. Harbour. That’s something you just don’t get at a large university. 

Erica Dickson ’07

My first memory of Longwood University was before I was even a student! When I was a junior in high school, I was selected to represent my high school at Virginia Girls State. In the summer of 2002, I fell in love with Longwood’s campus. My “city,” Wilson, was on the top floor of Frazer and I remember imagining what it would be like to be longwood university

Lori Jean Morgan ’81

Let’s see. … I started at Longwood COLLEGE August 1975 (Last year it was all female) and left in May 1978 (to get married). Then I returned in January 1980 and graduated in December 1981. I walked in May 1982. I still consider myself in the class of 1979, as all of my friends are there. I graduated with a BS in Health & Physical Education (grades K thru 12); I lived in French, Frazier (RA on the 10th floor), Stubbs (Phi Mu Sorority). I LOVE Longwood COLLEGE................best years of my life!

The mere mention of the swim test required for graduation brought many comments from alumni. A bit of research revealed that the college dropped the requirement in 1996. Students transferring to Longwood with an associate’s degree were not required to take the swimming test, and the college deemed the requirement could not be fairly administered to all.

Melissa Bew Seward ‘98

I remember heading to the pool to take the infamous swim test. I know they finally got rid of that. Rumor was someone donated money with the stipulation that students had to pass a swim test.

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Melissa George ’90

I graduated in ’90 and had to take the swim test. I too remember the story that someone had donated money to the school with the stipulation that the students had to pass a swim test in order to graduate because their daughter had drowned. I don’t believe the story is true, but it makes good folklore.

like me to find a special piece in the place I learned everything. Thank you Lydia Williams for being the best supervisor I will ever have, and I miss those library ladies. Better yet, I miss Longwood in general.

Ann Heaven Roe ‘67

My roommate in my sophomore year was a lovely girl named Alice Gill. She and I would go on to become life-long friends. She was a diabetic long before there were blood test kits to determine a person’s sugar level. We lived on 3rd floor North Cunningham. There was a rule that no one was allowed in the basement rec room after 10PM. After studying hard until midnight or later, many times she or I would get a candy bar attack! Where to get a candy bar. Oh, yes, how about in the machine in the rec room? But we’re not allowed down there now. I would say, “Alice, I think you might be having a low blood sugar. Don’t you think so?” She would smile sweetly and say, “Yes, I believe I am!” With that she would put her diabetic ID tags around her neck, and we would sneak and giggle our way down four flights of stairs at the back of the building to the rec room. It was kind of spooky down there at that time of night! Candy in hand we would fly back up the stairs praying that the house mother wouldn’t catch us! Back in our room we would laugh at another successful adventure and thoroughly enjoy our contraband candy! We never did get caught.

Kathryn Idelson Noftzger, ’82

We wore the khaki jumpers all the years I was an Alpha Gam! Also, I took intermediate swimming my sophomore year so I did not have to take the swimming test. Just had to pass the class. Dr. Judy Johnson taught the class. The first day she bet a cheese burger to anyone who could name more of the people in the class than she could after everyone introduced themselves one time. I was a colleague that year so I knew a few of the freshmen through one in my group and also knew some of the other classmates. I named everyone. I never did get that cheeseburger though. She said she couldn’t because I was a gymnast! She did not want to make the coach mad! Also, I had a speech class right after my swimming class. I always gave those speeches with wet hair!

Liz Daughtrey ‘73

(Moon Walk 1969) One early memory was that we were allowed to have a big pajama party/sleep over in the Gold room to watch the moon walk on the TV there!! Really cool!!

Emily Kilgore ‘09

Snow at Longwood … and I mean real snow, snow someone in VB cannot think of … that was amazing. We used to take the trays out of Dhall before they sold the trays … Sorry dining services! The year I led the history club to DC … My final color wars was my senior year and it was the first year I actually realized my group of friends was a group of multiple ages and years. We had a blast throwing paint at each other specifically, and took a ton of pictures. I always had friends at Longwood, but it was not until right before I graduated that I realized I had new friends for life. As a CHI “historian” (I worked in the library special collections and was obsessed with learning CHI’s history), my last CHI walk was as bittersweet as could be. I will always remember having to explain CHI to non lancers. I left all my CHI droppings in history books in the library for future historians longwood university

Everybody who attended Longwood views the college’s history a bit differently . Personal experiences and relationships color our memories and make them unique and special. Please take the time to sit back and gather your precious remembrances. Record them; savor them; share them.  

Longwood, thanks for the memories!

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